/ Not so boring estate car advice

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estivoautumnal - on 29 Nov 2012
We need to replace our 2001 Ford Focus with 210,000 miles on the clock with a new estate. As practical, good and cheap as the Focus is it lacks a bit of pizzazz.

Does anyone here have an estate car that stands out from the crowd and can recommend it? Budget is flexible but I'd rather spend my money on holidays so i guess 4-6k is ideal.

No Skoda's please.

Thanks in advance.
koolkat - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: diesal jag estate shud be in budget
estivoautumnal - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to koolkat:

Any experience with this? Are they reliable?
cuppatea on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

If you don't mind 35 MPG then a Volvo T5 would be fun.
woolsack - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to cuppatea:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal)
>
> If you don't mind 35 MPG then a Volvo T5 would be fun.

Where do you get 35mpg from? I had one and I'm damned if that thing ever made 20 on a run or now. Good fun and all that but severe drink problem
johnj on 29 Nov 2012 - 94.197.58.148.threembb.co.uk
Phill Mitch - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: I have an A4 audi 1.9 TDi and love it. It's 52 plate so not worth much. Does 45 to 50 mpg and will cruise at 80 all day long. Went to France in it last year and averaged 57mpg.I think it looks good too. The down side is parts are quite expensive.
john mc c - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:
Impreza WRX Wagon. Not exactly an estate, but fantastic. Depends if you can handle the fuel consumption.
bigdrew - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to Phill Mitch: How does a Diesel A4 even come close to "stands out from the crowd" They are good cars, but stand out? Not quite.

I'd say the Impreza WRX Wagon is the best shout. T5 engined Volvo will go well, or something like this has always taken my fancy.

http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/bmw/e39-5-series-96-04/2001-y-bmw-530-d-m-s...

Potential for big bills I bet.

Maybe an older Merc E class with decent engine in

bigdrew - on 29 Nov 2012
birdie num num - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:
Stop kidding yourself. Estate cars do not, and never will, stand out from the crowd.
John_Hat - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to woolsack:
> (In reply to cuppatea)
> [...]
>
> Where do you get 35mpg from? I had one and I'm damned if that thing ever made 20 on a run or now. Good fun and all that but severe drink problem

I used the have the AWD version. 21mpg average, occasionally got above 30mpg on a long run if I kept the speed down and rolled down all the hills...

cuppatea on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to

I used to do airport runs in a family members T5, it became a running joke. When I picked up the car the dash computer would say 28 MPG and after I'd had it a while it would say 33. That was without zeroing it, so I guesstimate I could get 35 fairly easily.
stroppygob - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

I run a Subaru "Liberty” estate /station wagon. When it dies I'll be upgrading to a newer Subaru “Outback” or “Forrester’.
obi-wan nick b - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: Let's hear it for the octavia vrs!!! I have the petrol and it's a bit thirsty though much better than the t5 figures. The diesel version is not so slower but with much better economy
professionalwreckhead - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

I got a Merc C180K estate in your budget, with sports package and lots of toys.

It's a Merc, so it's very nice to be inside.

But, repair bills are not exactly a joy.

Also....an estate car with a bit of pizzazz?? Does not compute :-)

Jamming Dodger on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to birdie num num: Cooper S Clubman. Stands out and fast as ****. Great fun to drive and bags of room too.

Tall Clare - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamming Dodger:

Is that the Works one? Mr TC's brother has one and it's ace!
Jamming Dodger on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: No, just the Cooper S. Bright blue with silver/black union jack roof. You cant miss me ;)
It really is nippy and fits two bikes in easily without taking the wheels off, which is why I bought it.
jezb1 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: I have a WRX wagon. It's good fun but not as fast as I thought it would be, the handling is great. Fuel is a bit of a killer though.

I've also had an Alfa 156gta, beautiful car and no it didn't breakdown every day.
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annieman - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: Whats wrong with a Skoda? Underneath it is a VW. And I'm just replacing mine at 177K, it still returns 60mpg. It gets me to where I want to be without fuss. Plan your route and allow the appropriate amount of time to get there, much less stress.
Robin

<ducks and runs>
Tall Clare - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to annieman:

Maybe he just doesn't like the look of them?
Brumbler - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

BMW Touring with the m-sport pack? I really like the styling of them, rwd is always fun and if you get the right engine they go fairly well. Saying that I've just bought a 525 touring and I'm worried it's going to feel a bit slow compared to what I'm used to.
professionalwreckhead - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to zloty_dziecko:

Has to be the 5 though, the 3 is the most pointless estate in the world. Can't even fit in your shopping never mind anything else.
Trangia - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to annieman:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal) Whats wrong with a Skoda? Underneath it is a VW.

I weas going to ask the same question.

Skodas have come a long way since the tow rope and tampon jokes :)
timjones - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to annieman)
>
> Maybe he just doesn't like the look of them?

Does that matter as long as the steering wheel and dash look OK?

They are the only bits you will spend very much time looking at.
Tall Clare - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to timjones:

Interesting take on it. If I had £4-6K to buy a car, I'd want one that I liked the look of. Seems a bit odd to shrug it off to buy a car you've expressedly said you don't want, when there are plenty out there that would appeal more.

Tall Clare - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to timjones:

And for nice steering wheel/dash, you're not going to choose a Skoda over, say, an Audi.
Brumbler - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to professionalwreckhead:

They aren't that bad, but I know what you mean, for an estate car you expect to be able to get a lot more in.
timjones - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> And for nice steering wheel/dash, you're not going to choose a Skoda over, say, an Audi.

I'll bow to your judgement on that one. Vanity is not one of my strong points ;)
Tall Clare - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to timjones:

You've lost me there.

OP - if you can get one for your money, what about an Alfa 159 estate?
timjones - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> You've lost me there.
>
> OP - if you can get one for your money, what about an Alfa 159 estate?

A car is all ab oput functionality rather than looks for.

I have to confess that I drive a Ford Focus Diesel estate. I wouldn't trade it in for "pizzazz" or a "car that stands out from the crowd". It does everything that a car should do very well ;)
Tall Clare - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to timjones

I too drive a Focus estate - again, not about pizzazz. However, the OP has asked for a car that *is* a bit more than merely functional - hence the suggestions.
bluebealach - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to professionalwreckhead:
> (In reply to zloty_dziecko)
>
> Can't even fit in your shopping never mind anything else.

You must eat a lot!!! ;)

I do admit that the roof height is a bit low if your sleeping in it. Getting in/out of the back is a bit of a pain. My only problem with a 5 series is that you can get them in the garage......but you cant open the bl**dy doors!!

.......and 47mpg (diesel) round town is quite good.
professionalwreckhead - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to bluebealach:

I admit, I was exaggerating slightly ;-)

But the point still stands, it's quite lacking in the area that you buy an estate for.

Then again, it's a vast improvement over the 3 series saloon. I was staggered when I saw the boot - plus non folding seats!
bluebealach - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to professionalwreckhead:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
>
> Then again, it's a vast improvement over the 3 series saloon. I was staggered when I saw the boot - plus non folding seats!

Agreed, that's farcical!!

Lord of Starkness - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

VW Golfs and Audi A4's are basically German built Skodas -- in fact some of them actually come out of the same factory in the Czech republic - but VW and Audi won't tell you that.
In reply to estivoautumnal: not really going to be within budget, but surely the most fun Estate would be the Audi RS6, with it's 5 litre V10 Lamborghini Engine in it!! The flared arches etc make it stand out to people who know what they're looking at, and I'd imagine it's good fun to drive, although a bit of a speeding ticket magnet!!
Incidentally, the North Wales Police are running them De-badged as their traffic cars...don't try outrunning them in anything less than a supercar!!
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): ooh...stats:
4.6 seconds for the 0-100 Km/h (62.1 mph)
12.7 seconds 0-200 km/h (124.3 mph),
Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph),with a factory option to de-restrict the top speed to 274 km/h (170.3 mph)
Steve John B - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

The Lynx Eventer (Jag XJS estate) stands out from the crowd but probably falls down on the practicality side:

http://www.lynxeventer.com/news/lynx-is-sold-and-the-tradition-continues/
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In reply to timjones:
>
> A car is all ab oput functionality rather than looks for.
>
> I have to confess that I drive a Ford Focus Diesel estate. I wouldn't trade it in for "pizzazz" or a "car that stands out from the crowd". It does everything that a car should do very well ;)

I had a Focus diesel estate as a hire car about a year ago, it really was the most dismal piece of crap I have ever had the misfortune to drive - and I have driven some real mingers!


Chris
Mike Stretford - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> And for nice steering wheel/dash, you're not going to choose a Skoda over, say, an Audi.

I set off saying I wasn't going to buy a Skoda, then bought one, and I love it (140bhp and it feels like my old VW gti). I'd have happily bough a Golf estate but they're rare as rocking horse shit over here.

I looked at Jags and volvos but the whole reason I was changing was because of the Ford engine so it would have been a bit silly to get re-badge Ford.
LastBoyScout on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

I'm in the same position - looking at replacing a 2001 Focus estate.

I've looked at the Jag X-type estate 2.2 diesel - all that put me off that was the boot being an awkward shape to get bikes in. It's a Mondeo in a party dress, really.

Mazda 6 estate was a bland sea of plastic and I didn't even bother test-driving it, even though it had a decent option pack, including Bose speakers.

Currently thinking Volvo, but not sure about the required leather elbow patches :-)

Audi are out, as the missus has an Audi and I don't really like BMW or Merc.

All this may depend on what she's allowed as a company car next year - if she gets an estate, I may change to a hot saloon.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal)
>
> The Lynx Eventer (Jag XJS estate) stands out from the crowd but probably falls down on the practicality side:
>

And looks

Ruub on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

Haven't read all the replies but here's a vote for a Landrover 110/ Defender!
Buy an old cheap one with a good chassis, drop a fully reconditioned engine in, good for 300k miles if serviced,
little or no depreciation,
work on it and add to it's value over time,
enjoy the view while the others overtake you, and you've got somewhere to sleep/cook/get changed too....
And yes you can do that for £6k! 35+ mpg if you drive steady...

There's no point in having an estate if there's no room in it...Subarus are great but not much room for kit!
Bob Hughes - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Jamming Dodger:

> It really is nippy and fits two bikes in easily without taking the wheels off, which is why I bought it.

hmmm - v.interesting.... you've just set me back in my car hunt. I thought I had it narrowed down
Jim Hamilton - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Bob Hughes:

he should have mentioned those are childrens bikes..
peewee2008 - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

Toyota Avensis D4d Estate, used to have a focus estate and a mondeo estate it more comfortable, economic, better built and reliabe than them. On a good motorway run it will easily achieve 60Mpg. reasonable tax and insurance. can get a nice one within you 4-6k budget.
Andrew Wilson - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:
My last car was an Audi RS6 estate which I bought for much the same reason as you suggest. After 3 years of paying the repair bills and feeding it with petrol I'm more than happy to blend in to the crowd now in my ford. Was lots of fun though.
Andy
timjones - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to timjones)
> [...]
>
> I had a Focus diesel estate as a hire car about a year ago, it really was the most dismal piece of crap I have ever had the misfortune to drive - and I have driven some real mingers!
>

I'd suggest that you either had the very worst of the "friday afternoon specials" or you've never driven a truly dismal car ;)
Mike Stretford - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: I could have written the same email 3 months ago, icluding the 'No Skodas please' (I also has a Ford Focus). I bought a Skoda.

It came down to a BMW or Audi with > 140k on the clock, searching out one of the few Golf estates, or a choice of Octavias with reasonable milage. That's after driving all other contenders for work and discounting re-badged Ford and Vauxhalls (Jag,Volvo,Saab).
crow-media on 30 Nov 2012 - 95.147.210.171 whois?
In reply to estivoautumnal:

I was going to ask if the 'No Skodas please' is based on some sort of 1980's mind set that compares Skodas with Ladas,FSO's,Wartburgs, Yugos and all those eccentric and usually horrible East European cars?

As other's have pointed out,A Skoda is a VW or Audi in all but badge. Touchy? Maybe. My Octavia Estate is on 223.000 miles and has the original clutch,exhaust,running gear. In fact,it's only had a second hand alternator, shocks and tyres in all that-ten year-period. Oh...and 55-60mpg beats most of the competition.

But you go ahead and get some flashy Eurobox by all means.
In reply to timjones:
>
> I'd suggest that you either had the very worst of the "friday afternoon specials" or you've never driven a truly dismal car ;)

Well this one was much better:

http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/138880450


Chris

PS The 'Taxi' sticker is a Photoshop job!
Mike Stretford - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to crow-media: I think it's fair to say they don't have the 'pizzaz' the op is looking for, though I'm very happy with mine. You just don't get quality cars, with 'pizzaz', on the OPs budget, unless you buy old or with many miles.
Deri Jones - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: You'd get a decent late model Phase 2 Volvo V70 D5 estate for that - monster boot, 180Hp (easy to tune to 200+ without too much drama or insurance cost, so great for overtaking on country roads) and the comfiest seats out. I spent 18 hours in it from La Ciotat in the S of France to Mid Wales, 1000 miles and felt pretty fresh on getting out. Sat with the cruise control on 130Kmh (indicated 90mph) it managed 40mpg with 2 people and about 200Kg of survey gear.
Don't drive it wearing a white shirt as everyone thinks you're a copper though! Or live somewhere with a tight turning circle, I've seen container ships with more manoeuvrability. Service costs are cheap (18K service intervals) and parts are shared with a lot of the German makes, so relatively cheap. The older EuroIII engines are much better on fuel consumption for some reason, but less powerful.
John_Hat - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> And for nice steering wheel/dash, you're not going to choose a Skoda over, say, an Audi.

Depending on the skoda and the audi, there's very little difference. It all comes out of the same parts bin.

e.g. The binnacle on my Skoda is identical to the A6, even to the (irritating) level of detail of the speedo being marked in tens up till 80 and 20's from that point on, so 90mph is a fuzzy mark somewhere between 80 and 100.
Tall Clare - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Fair enough - the last Skoda Octavia I drove was a 2l TDi but I don't think the spec level was very high, and it was a while back, whereas the Audi I drive sometimes is a 2l TDi but it's an SLine model so it's got a nicer interior because of that, I think.
John_Hat - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

The impression I get is that it's all similar, with a hefty overlap in the middle, so whilst a high end audi is likely to be nicer than a low end skoda, a mid-high end skoda and a mid-low end audi are likely to be identical.

Certainly the guy over the road who runs an A6 commented when he looked that my dash was the same as his. I run a Skoda Superb, btw, not octavia.
Tall Clare - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

The Superb is the same as the A6 and the Octavia is the A4 - that's why I compared the Octavia with the A4 :-)
John_Hat - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Fair, think we're therefore talking at cross-purposes here :-)

At the risk of complicating further, the Superb is, as far as I know, actually a stretched Passat, the base structure being developed in asia for Passat limmos. However having got the structure developed, and having it lying around, so to speak, they made further use of it in the Superb, however as its almost exactly the same size as the A6, all the innards for the A6 fit, and then it was cheaper to use ones VWGroup already had than develop new ones....

Plus engines, drivetrain, etc are identical in any case.
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Gentleman Antiquarian - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

Skoda Octavia Estate is an Audi A5. It has mostly Audi parts, does 60mpg and I can drive from Gloucestershire to the Lake District in one sitting and from Gloucs to Fort William on three-quarters of a tank of diesel.. With winter tyres it's excellent on poor surfaces. It's also very good value.

What's not to like?
John_Hat - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Gentleman Antiquarian:

I suspect the OP has made a badge decision with different criteria to you and I, and decided, potentially without driving one, that any Skoda is unlikely to fufill his critera.

Given the prediliction of this site to recommend Skodas at the drop of a hat (for good reason) he's asked for a no-skoda requirement.

Whilst in my humble opinion its a somewhat short-sighted opinion (I've owned any number of large estates including V70s, Subarus, Mondeos, Passats, etc and the Skoda Superb blows them all into the weeds, and my old Octavia was not bad at weed blowing itself), it's their opinion and we should respect it... :-)
iksander on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: Just how much pizzazz can you afford to maintain? A6 2.7T? Subaru Legacy 3.0R. Not quite as nuts as an RS6, but close enough
balmybaldwin - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> (In reply to koolkat)
>
> Any experience with this? Are they reliable?

Mine is, ive done 65k miles in it with no problems. Ive got the sport premium. Its not sportscar like, but it is fun to drive, quick (8.2s to 60) and reasonably ecconomical (40mpg most of the time, 50+ on long runs - 2.2l engine)

Its practical too, more space than a 3 series or an a4.
The New NickB - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

I suspect the OP is familiar with UKC and didn't just want the usual suspect telling him he would be fool to get anything but a Skoda.
John_Hat - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
>
> I suspect the OP is familiar with UKC and didn't just want the usual suspect telling him he would be fool to get anything but a Skoda.

Thought thats what I said?

"Given the prediliction of this site to recommend Skodas..." etc
The New NickB - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Thought thats what I said?
>
> "Given the prediliction of this site to recommend Skodas..." etc

Yes, I posted after reading your first line and missed that.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal:

Considering he asked for anything but Skodas it's funny the way the thread has degenerated into yet another Skoda Owners Club debate :-)

Is it something they put in the upholstery?
johnj on 01 Dec 2012 - 188.29.110.187.threembb.co.uk
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Morning Brucie, perhaps its the psychology of the UKC flock?
Mike Stretford - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to johnj: Yeah it's just a subset of the 'sheeple'. Best stick to Icke's forum.
pat m - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to OP: Well I've had Octavias (two of), Passats and Mazda 6. But for something a bit different I went Renault Laguna - 180bhp and 4 wheel steering. Drinks more than the others (40mpg avg) but makes me smile.

And before the inevitable posts about reliability - in two years 36,000 miles no bother
johnj on 01 Dec 2012 - 188.31.4.114.threembb.co.uk
In reply to Papillon:

Well you know all the terms, I was thinking more of a flock of seagulls, living life on the cliff and all and occasionally soaring high in the sky!
Lord of Starkness - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to johnj:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> Well you know all the terms, I was thinking more of a flock of seagulls, living life on the cliff and all and occasionally soaring high in the sky!

..and not caring where the shit lands!

Bob Hughes - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to estivoautumnal: I'm in the same boat and the current thinking is 3-series Zim-Zimmer 330d
Mike Stretford - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to Bob Hughes: I looked at those (on a slightly higher budget than the OP), but in the end could justify spending the money on an older/high milage car. I do like them though.

As I said earlier I gave up on 'pizzaz' (I might spend some of the difference on a 'pizzaz' commuter bike, which at least I'll use every day!).

handjammer - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to bigdrew: I've got one and it's absolutely fantastic, best car I've ever owned without a shadow of a doubt. Fast, huge boot, comfy with loads of space, well equipped. Massive surge of power when you floor it, the TCS kicks in at 50mph in 3rd if you boot it on a damp road!

Bit thirsty though, but then it does go like stink with a family of four plus accompanying stuff.

handjammer - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to handjammer:
> (In reply to bigdrew) I've got one and it's absolutely fantastic, best car I've ever owned without a shadow of a doubt. Fast, huge boot, comfy with loads of space, well equipped. Massive surge of power when you floor it, the TCS kicks in at 50mph in 3rd if you boot it on a damp road!
>
> Bit thirsty though, but then it does go like stink with a family of four plus accompanying stuff.

A Saab 9-5 HOT Aero 2.3t - I should have said what I own!

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