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2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,
With a forthcoming additional member joining the family soon I am looking to replace the 500 with a family car.
The requirements are: 5-door with enough space for a family of 4, reliability, economy, ideally not too boring to drive, up to £7.5k, 65k miles or so and not "too old".
The candidates I have in mind are these diesels: Octavia (although it looks like an "old man's car"), Leon (2014 onwards), 308 (2014 onwards) and potentially a Focus (perhaps estate, not sure if the hatch space is adequate?). The 308 seems very good VFM.
Are there any specific issues I should be aware of in the above cars and what else would you guys recommend?
Thanks a lot!
 

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2003 Forester AW Manual with low ratio
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162 Posts
For what its worth, I was asking something similar from my local trusted independant service garage owner the other week: he had just bought himself a 2014 diesel mondeo for about 8 grand, but specifically picked one that didnt have the " lane adjust" steering option ( I dont know the official name for this feature!) He reckoned that " driver aid" isnt good to drive, and is worth doing without, but unfortunately will be on most newer cars. Lots of space inside a mondeo, but a big car if you use it in town a lot?
 

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2004 FSTi 6 speed manual
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1,426 Posts
Anything apart from a Peugeot buddy.... They're terrible! Shoddy brakes and not forgetting they're French😁
Most of my immediate family have had Pugs and I can't count the amount of times I've had to replace the whole braking systems. Both pre and post 2014.

Volkswagon? Maybe a Toureg? Or the smaller Touran?
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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345 Posts
Remember the issue with most modern diesels are DPF's...when they go, it's a fair bit of dosh and unless you know the seller you won't know if they've racked up mileage on short trips, or long trips (long help dpf).

I owned a 2007 mk2 focus, it was a 1.6 diesel, if you go back that far in time, don't bother with a 1.6!!! Fortunately I never had any mechanical problems with it, but I was forever told by folks how they like to kill their turbos etc... so it's a worry + plus, the power output is 'ok but once it's loaded up it feels like you might as well have a hamster powering the thing, especially when you hit a hill! As for size, I don't know how much they've changed, but I'm not convinced that the forester is any bigger inside, it may even be smaller...

Lots of misery info, sorry..

Could always get a Honda crv? They seem somewhat popular, or a Volvo and a beige cardigan 😂
 

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2005 Forester Sti
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237 Posts
VW Tiguan. 2011 to 2016 is the facelift with better interior. For your budget look at the 2012/2013 ones, private purchase will allow a 2014 or newer maybe.

They are cheap and reliable, get the 2WD - dont bother with the 4Motion. Get the SE model with better seats etc, The R-line will ask more for the purchase price but its only looks improvement.

If you need more space then the Toureg/Touran
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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345 Posts
Touregs are nice, (one of the considerations before going for a foz), but tyres are expensive aaaand, I think I read something about common faults with drive trains (?) (Don't quote me on that). The common faults were readily available online, so just do a quick bit of research (I'm sure you will) to double check whether I'm talking out my ace or not...

On the flip side they do a 5.0 v10 😁

If you're expecting more kids, could consider an XC90, get a 3rd row of seats in there!! Just stay away from the petrols, their gearboxs are made from fudge..
 

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2006 Forester XTE 5 speed manual
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284 Posts
I’d forget the Octavia and go for the Skoda Superb. Big, comfy, quiet and well put together. The saloon is a notchback that hides a hatch, so it is versatile. Butt ugly in saloon form, but cheap as a consequence...and who cares, as you only see the inside (which is nice). If you really can’t take the looks, then the estate looks normal....even handsome in a chiselled manner. Not quite as cheap as the saloon. Good range of petrol engines from 1.4 to 3.6 😮The middle 1.8 turbo is decent, but don’t rule out the 1.4 petrol either. It is a small motor in a big car, but it’s a belter of an engine. I hate diesels, so can’t comment on them. I am sure they are (smelly, rattly, dirty) economical.
 

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2004 FSTi 6 speed manual
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1,426 Posts
What about sticking with Subaru and an outback, liberty/legacy, Lavorg or even a good auld foz.... Diesels of course. Even though owning a diesel is on par with owning something French.
I know your looking for economy with a diesel but I'm nearly sick when I smell the stuff. I have to either overtake or pull over if I'm driving behind a diesel. It's becoming a joke :sick:
 

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2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
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6,495 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Some good ideas there, thanks.
Didn't the Subaru diesels used to have engine problems?
I am talking 2007/2008 though, I guess a 2014 XV will have a different engine.
I don't want something huge although everyone tells me to buy the biggest I can.
When I was a kid my father had a Fiat 127, why do families need mahoosive cars nowadays?
I test drove a CVT XV a while ago and it was OK, I need to drive a diesel. They are not the most economical engines though compared with e.g. BMWs.
I am tempted for a 320d, having had this engine in the ex's 120d (turbo lasted up to 224k miles, when it went it took the engine with it).
I've thought about a Mazda 6 but they are way too big cars I think. I've never had a VAG and not a huge fan of them as I don't know them but I guess I should go test drive a Tiguan.
Agreed diesels can be smelly but I guess these are older ones that people either don't maintain well or have removed the DPFs.
The ex's 120d diesel really stunk towards the end of its life, I wouldn't even take it for free.
 

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2003 Forester AW Manual with low ratio
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162 Posts
I think modern diesels can stink as well after a good few miles, part of the problem is the inlet manifold and valves clogging up, due to oily / dirty air being recirculated into it. I reckon if they had their full cycle of emissions retested after 50-100 k miles once they are choked with carbon, theyd be as bad as older cars. Apparently thats why theres so many novel internal engine cleaning companies and treatments springing up. Cant beat a traditional petrol engine with a petrol vapour wash of the inlet tract every time it breathes!
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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345 Posts
I don't have kids (and I know parents hate this comparison), but as an owner of 2 dogs and having a wife, a larger car just seems to make life easier whenever we go away... wife likes to pack for the "just in case DURING the just in case" it's like that movie inception!!! Then the dogs both need their beds, leads, food, bowls etc..

So I guess with kids you have the car seats, the baby bag, the pram etc etc.. I suppose an estate could make an impromptu changing easier??
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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I would be wary of the VW 1.4 and 2.0 TSI engines. The older ones in the Seat Leon 2009 generation onwards and VW equivalents were known for a valve train issue causng a rattle, getting louder and faster with engine speed.

I would be looking at a BMW 3 Series or a Mazda 3 / 6 - The Mazdas really aren't bad.............Or if you want to do parenting "properly" a Volvo !? The Pre-Ford ones were pretty good. The Ford ones were reasonable, I'm not sure about the Chinese owned Volvos these days.

Legacy would be on my radar but the early Diesels did have catastrophic issues from memory, requiring new bottom ends from memory.

Only reason I would ever consider going French were the Citroen with the fancy hydraulic but very smooth suspension. Depreciation is horrific though.
 

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06 FSTi
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14 Posts
Suzuki Vitara (New shape). The 1.4 boosterjet is a great engine, cruised down and back up from the South of France at an average of 100mph with 2 x adults, 2 x kids, luggage and other assorted bits required for entertaining/feeding/up keep of said children :D. Plus with the 4WD and a simple remap its a suprisingly fun car to drive on the twisties as a little Fiesta ST

Or

Can't go wrong with a Skoda Octavia Scout. 4WD, decent ride height and a boot that can fit two push bikes (Child size) and assorted luggage. Borrowed one for a holiday and was very impressed, plus this one was remapped and it was no slouch.

I've gone the other way from you, i've bought the Foz for holidays with the family plus occasional trackdays on my own with my mates. My daily is a 3 door Freelander TD4 which serves me well.
 

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04 FSTi Manual
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540 Posts
Yes, I bought an early legacy diesel from a used car place. Got it checked out at my local subaru garage just after I bought it and they picked up that the engine was buggered, quoted me 13k for the repair!

After speaking to several specialists, they all said that you were doing well to get one to last more than 80k miles. Luckily I got my money back despite the dealer swearing blind that their mechanic had given it the all clear.
 

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Premium Member
2004 forester sti
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1,456 Posts
Some good ideas there, thanks.
Didn't the Subaru diesels used to have engine problems?
I am talking 2007/2008 though, I guess a 2014 XV will have a different engine.
I don't want something huge although everyone tells me to buy the biggest I can.
When I was a kid my father had a Fiat 127, why do families need mahoosive cars nowadays?
I test drove a CVT XV a while ago and it was OK, I need to drive a diesel. They are not the most economical engines though compared with e.g. BMWs.
I am tempted for a 320d, having had this engine in the ex's 120d (turbo lasted up to 224k miles, when it went it took the engine with it).
I've thought about a Mazda 6 but they are way too big cars I think. I've never had a VAG and not a huge fan of them as I don't know them but I guess I should go test drive a Tiguan.
Agreed diesels can be smelly but I guess these are older ones that people either don't maintain well or have removed the DPFs.
The ex's 120d diesel really stunk towards the end of its life, I wouldn't even take it for free.
Fivos you wont be happy until you own a BMW 335d estate …. you know it … hell every one knows it .
I believe it meets all your needs?
 
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