New Car Advice

  crosstrainer 10:01 05 Aug 2008

Now that I have nearly joined the ranks of retired, I am looking for a more practical vehicle than my present BMW 7 series.

I have had BMW's for the last 10 years, and they have been faultless. I've looked at the collection of smaller BMW's but don't like the X thing, and can't find anything that really suits.

The car (maybe an estate?) needs to have 6 seats, and room for a "Pet Gate" in the rear to accommodate my furry companions.

Diesel would seem to be the way to go for economy, and my "Go faster" day's are behind me now. Have looked at Kia (not impressed) Mercedes is also out due to previous reliability issues.

Any thoughts?

  interzone55 10:07 05 Aug 2008

Have you looked at the Ford S-Max click here-

  crosstrainer 10:14 05 Aug 2008

I did have a look, and this car seems to get good all round reviews. I find the interior a bit "soulless" and plastic, but apart from that, it does fit the bill.

Any thoughts on this:

click here

In terms of reliability and so on?

  interzone55 10:51 05 Aug 2008

The Jag is essentially a Mondeo estate with a different body.

But don't take that as a bad thing, the current Mondeo is a fantastic car.

It's only got 5 seats though, so if that's enough, why not go for the 5-series Touring? click here

  Cymro. 12:26 05 Aug 2008

"Mercedes is also out due to previous reliability issues"

I am very surprised to read that as I have always thought that Mercedes had the best record as far as reliability goes. There are probably sites on the net that would give you statistics as regards reliability fuel consumption and the like.

  interzone55 12:47 05 Aug 2008

Over the past few years Mercedes have experienced a number of quality issues, mainly due to the fact they've brought in a large amount of cheap labour from the former East Germany
click here

  Cymro. 12:52 05 Aug 2008

Thanks for that alan14.
Rather a pity with a firm like Mercedes as it always had such a very good reputation.

  crosstrainer 13:09 05 Aug 2008

The BMW Tourer looks just the job, the SE I think...Goes to the top of my list. Don't know why I missed it before :)

  crosstrainer 13:10 05 Aug 2008

It's a shame about Mercedes, but the quality just isn't there. Given time, I'm sure they will put things right.

  interzone55 14:22 05 Aug 2008

You don't want the BMW X5, but how about the Lexus RX400 hybrid?

click here

  skeletal 14:45 05 Aug 2008

Oops sorry guys. I cut and pasted part of something else I was working on. I'll post FE to delete that post and just keep the following:

I am a BMW freak myself. I have driven many cars in my time and, for me, overall, the BMW 5 series is the best compromise. The handling isn’t quite in Porsche territory, but you can’t fit a bed into a Porsche (I helped a friend transport a bed in my Touring)!

I, personally, have always thought the 7 series is a bit too big, even though I like big cars.

If you are used to the BMW “feel” I think you will be disappointed with anything else (of similar type), not least of which most cars these days are front wheel drive, which I dislike.

The Mercs are still RWD, but I agree with the reliability issues. A colleague had big problem with the fuel injectors on his (to be fair though, no matter which car you mention, someone will be able to tell a story about how awful it was!).

If you are thinking in the X type bracket (i.e. rather than a Fiesta or whatever), this still puts you in the 3/5 Series area, and for me, there is no contest!

I don’t know whether you are looking for new or second hand, or are bothered too much by fuel economy, but the very latest BMWs now have all manner of economy tricks, and if you can put up with the smaller engines you can get over 50MPG from the 520d.

I prefer the looks of the M Sport, but you will save a couple of grand if you are happy with the SE. You may prefer the slighter softer ride with the higher profile tyres of the SE.

I prefer (just) the handling of the 5 to the 3. The 3 is slightly more twitchy at the back, the 5 slightly more neutral.

I also prefer the 6 cylinder petrol, even though the BMW diesels are amongst the best you can buy, I can still detect the diesel vibration.

Or, come down to the 1 Series (I have not driven one of these so can’t comment on handling etc.).

One last point, I did not realise that some 5 series Touring autos have a CO2 output that is a gnat’s whatsit above the saloon. This makes you (me!) public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of this government and will give you the nice £400 road tax, even though they are still very economical (I get 30 MPG from my 530 auto Touring).

I have heard the latest Ford Mondeo is very good. I have been a passenger in a diesel version and it was good (apart from being diesel!), and the chap reckons he gets about 50MPG. I’ve not driven one though.


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