van or estate?

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Re: van or estate?

Postby danny1 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:21 pm

good thread this
yak yak yak yak yak yak yak
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Re: van or estate?

Postby defever » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:43 pm

I have been looking at cars on streets (...no, not to steal) and I see more Ford estates than any other estates, may be Peugeot next.
Builders' vans are T4 80% of the time and some Vivaro.

Audi and BMW estates around posh part of the town. Immaculate T5 with overkill chrome rear bike racks were also popular on posh streets...

What about SAAB (I saw 95 model this morning, RIP) estate? Has anyone owned one and found it useful as surf related vehicle? SAAB is like Marmite, I think. You either love it or hate it.
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Re: van or estate?

Postby gavtheoldskater » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:21 pm

ok, heres my 2p's worth based on 30years driving up and down with surfboards...

estates are decent all round bets. do as an everyday car, when you want to drive down to surf they are comfortable on a run and you can pile in kit. sleep in at a push.

people carriers better again but a bit more on fuel. i had a vw sharan, decent 40 to the gallon at sensible m'way speed. at the time i was driving out of county a lot, london and back in a day a few times a month regular, coped with it at ease, really comfortable distance car and take out the rear seats you got a van. i sold that with 100k on it, good engine, dodgy aircon, top range model, for just over 1k.

middle ground is a small van, don't know brands these days but caddy size. i had a renault extra in the early 90s. board would strap up in the roof and easily enough space to crash in the back for a day or two.

now got a vwT5 camper, i would have bought one years ago if i had known, or rather remembered as i had vw campers in the 80s, how useful and fun they are. hold value like mad. only downside a bit thirsty on the school run. but i always forget that when i do get a chance to go somewhere and camp in it.

make-wise... don't buy french, bloody unreliable and expensive spares. ford, cheap spares. german... what can you say, german!

personally, if a t4 is out, or what about a type 25 diesel even, and you want max space i'd look at a people carrier, sharan or galaxy. you can even get camper conversion kits for them.
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Re: van or estate?

Postby dynamite » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:57 pm

definitely a good thread.

the picasso seems like a good shout because of the way the seats fold into the floor making a huge area to shelter in and change if necessary. There seem to be thousands on the roads so they can't be bad in terms of servicing although I'm no mechanic so that's pure guess work.
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Re: van or estate?

Postby WP101 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:17 am

dynamite wrote:definitely a good thread.

the picasso seems like a good shout because of the way the seats fold into the floor making a huge area to shelter in and change if necessary. There seem to be thousands on the roads so they can't be bad in terms of servicing although I'm no mechanic so that's pure guess work.


unless you have deep pockets or drive like a vicar..DONT BUY FRENCH FFS, they are cheap for a reason, they WILL break down and cost a mint to fix as a lot of the issues are not easily traceable and labour costs will escalate quickly, sometimes the dealer is the only place to get the problems fixed, and at near enough £100/hr you will soon be pissed off
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Re: van or estate?

Postby defever » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:30 am

You hear more of the above about French cars (and FIAT...) than any other makers...

I agree with Picasso being on the road everywhere, but maybe Citroen are generally cheaper to buy (new or used) and good visibility from driver's seat is popular amongst school run moms hence you see them on the road (in rage usually) in the mornings and at supermarket parking lot quite alot...

Just my observation, I'm no mechanic or car specialist either.

However I think MPV are indeed useful if you have a family with little ones, and if you fancy a little weekend escape for a surf. Roomy and comfy driving. But my young ego with no responsibilities (yet) is resisting at all cost to purchase a MPV...would rather get a T4 or a monster van and waste my hard earned money on fuel. Irrational and stupid but honest.
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Re: van or estate?

Postby WP101 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:46 am

for sure, everyone should have a van at some point in their lives :D

ive had to fix a few french cars and 9/10 of them have been a pita, hence the vitriol
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Re: van or estate?

Postby Philshoz » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:55 am

Brilliant thread..........
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Re: van or estate?

Postby Philshoz » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:41 pm

VW T4 for sale North Devon. Over in for sale section.

There you go....
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Re: van or estate?

Postby defever » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:01 pm

So my car brokedown on my way home via N. Devon for a guaranteed stoke of the month... didn't even get out of Sussex.

She never collapsed on roadside. It's depressing enough that I'm missing the swell let alone not being able to go home for the weekend, but coming to terms with losing hopes on my old workhorse is just painful... I feel like part of me has died today...

SO I sent a PM to the T4 seller!
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Re: van or estate?

Postby WP101 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:43 am

shame about the old rover man. fair play for keeping 'er goin..not many british motors left on the road.
fingers crossed the Veedub is right. you will love it if it is..give it a good long hard test drive if you can (sorry if im stating the obvious there)
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Re: van or estate?

Postby Philshoz » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:18 am

defever wrote:So my car brokedown on my way home via N. Devon for a guaranteed stoke of the month... didn't even get out of Sussex.

She never collapsed on roadside. It's depressing enough that I'm missing the swell let alone not being able to go home for the weekend, but coming to terms with losing hopes on my old workhorse is just painful... I feel like part of me has died today...

SO I sent a PM to the T4 seller!


I'll take a finders fee for that...... :lol:

Hope it's a good one.
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Re: van or estate?

Postby defever » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:03 pm

Would you accept my non-starting rover as a token Philsoz??

Another thing with a van: Insurance.

If, for example a t4 has a seat that is also a bed when flattened and couple of cupboard over the wheel arches, would the van be classified as a "modified" vehicle? Major insurance companies don't cover "modified" vehicles do they? And how much more would someone be looking at to insure a van with such "modification"?

Would be nice to have a look at that T4, but I'm sure someone local will buy it in no time...
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Re: van or estate?

Postby surfbore » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:48 pm

Don't follow the T4/T5 crowd! Be an individual and get a Merc E class estate! They are within your budget and fit all your requirements. They have a huge boot space, the rear seats (all 5 of them) fold completely flat, the tail-gate can be opened from the inside and they're extremely smooth and pleasant to drive, amazingly comfortable for long distance. The E220 Cdi is good for 50mpg or the E320 cdi 200bhp rocketship is good for just over 40mpg. There are plenty around X/Y reg for under £2k and I hear these are more reliable than the newer models. I have the petrol version and I often use it as a weekend surf vehicle/camper. I have a VW T25 camper too but I don't use it anymore as the Merc is just so much more practical for a short duration trip and very comfortable to sleep in with over 6ft of flat load bay. I used to use an air bed but a sleep mat is as comfortable and gives you more headroom. I sleep one side with boards on the other. I've even cooked in there! If you get the 7 seater version, the rear facing kiddies seats are great to relax in and admire the view when backed up onto a beach somewhere with the tailgate up. Hell there's even cup holders for your beer and power sockets for your tunes in the boot!

This is my second merc and they have both been the cheapest cars I've insured for a long time. Currently £175 fully comp with only a £100 excess! I've had mine for 3 years now and its been brilliant. Several trips with three others and all our kit from Devon to North Scotland and Ireland (14 hour non-stop trips are fairly painless in this car) and use as a daily driver and its never missed a beat. As long as you stay away from Merc main dealers servicing isn't that expensive and it seems to only need one (it tells you when it needs doing) every 12-15k miles. The only parts I've had to replace was brake discs and pads when I first got it and that was no more expensive than the Golfs I've had. When I bought mine I was dubious at first about its suitability as a car/camper and I only bought it because it was such a bargain (£1400 for an X reg 100k mile E240 over 3 years ago!) but I don't regret it at all its such a great versatile car. When it comes time to replace it I'll definitely be looking for a E320 cdi, one like this currently on Gumtree: http://www.gumtree.com/p/cars-vans-motorbikes/nice-condition1-year-mot-2001-mercedes-e320-cdi-elegance-auto-estate-7-seats-diesellow-mileage/1006508687#gallery-item-full-1

Anyway, sorry I seem to have gone on a bit but in my opinion they are the perfect surf vehicle and should not just be driven to the golf club by the pipe and slippers brigade.
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Re: van or estate?

Postby ATTMFKH » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:54 pm

You mean like this , sadly away to the scrappy in the sky , with the roofbars made for 60p 8)

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Re: van or estate?

Postby surfbore » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:32 am

I was meaning the model that came after that (like in the gumtree link). Those ones are starting to get rare now and If you can still find a good W124 like the one in your picture they're usually quite expensive. Nowhere near as economical as the model that came after either. Lovely car though I bet you were sad to see it go. I used to have the coupe version of that and have missed it since the day I sold it!
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Re: van or estate?

Postby WP101 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:59 am

great car in theory but if anything does go wrong $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$'s
i nearly bought a bmw 530d estate once until i priced brakes/tyres etc :shock: also any of the big 'Bahnstormers have things like double wishbone suspension, so just changing a ball joint or a wishbone can be a real PITA

Keep it simple eg mk3/4 golf estate :wink:
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Re: van or estate?

Postby defever » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:52 am

Thanks surfbore for your view. I did think of Mercs as an option. However...WP101 put it right.

With that T4 still in mind as one (dream) option, I'm looking into 50+MPG (prime factor) estates.

Realistic about my budget (probably max £2,000 for car itself and £500 for adding tax, changing insurance, and bit on the side for any work in near future), I'll be looking at 100,000+mile, pre-2000AD model with diesel engine (I do more long distance than town drive). Search on Autotrader gives me a handful of intersting cars, some with full service history.

So far I've seen these figures on combined MPG: Merc E & C classes 45MPG; Passat 44- 47MPG; Mondeo 47MPG; BMW 3 series 45-50MPG;A4 Avant 53MPG(!!)

Engines are in the range of 1.9 - 2.5L so tax & insurance are pretty similar as well.

Boot space, I think they are all the same. Board (sub 6ft most of the time, 9+ft occasionally) + kits and space for me to sleep is all I need. Above models all provide enough space for my need.

Maintenance cost (roughly assumed, not well looked in to it yet). Likely to face a major repair at some point as I'll be looking an already high miler. So, I think Merc and BMW are at disadvantage in comparison to other makers... Passat & Mondeo are at advantage with their cheaper parts.

A4 Avant is looking good with a whooping 53MPG. Vorsprung durch technik, indeed. Pre-2000 models doesn't seem to have cruise control (would be nice, really), but looks like its not a major job to install one either.

AUDI: Is it too expensive to repair when something goes wrong? If so, then Mondeo is the next runner up (then Passat...).

Again, thank you all for your views. Very helpful to make decisions!
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Re: van or estate?

Postby WP101 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:26 pm

coincidentally ive been running a 2002 a4 avant 130se for the last 3 years, initially at 108k it needed all the front (8) steering arms replaced (common issues) which are cheap to buy but a bugger to fit. clutches are quite weak and start to go at 70k, they have dual mass flywheels which all modern high power diesels have and if the car has been driven incorrectly, ie held on the clutch on hills theres a chance this will need replacing too, for a garage to replace a clutch and flywheel your looking at the neck end of £1k. its easy to tell if the flywheel is buggered as you will hear a nasty rattle.

so check clutch op and listen for knocks from the front, make sure the timing belt and waterpump have been changed at the correct interval (70 - 80k). They are excellent cars, im very happy with mine, ive put 40k miles on it with no issues...but you will NOT get 50mpg,not from a B6,maybe a B5 (pre 2000) or maybe with a remap, but a standard 1.9 130PD will give you a regular 48mpg at best, avoid the 2.5tdi, they are crap.

re space, its a chunky car, the doors are pretty thick and heavy, i find its a little bit smaller than my old golf estates,smaller than an octavia too but way bigger than a 3 series estate.
if your looking for more space you may want to look at an A6 avant 1.9? or a passat, they do give well over 50mpg and theres tonnes in your price range on autotrader etc and parts are cheaper than audi.. :D
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Re: van or estate?

Postby SurfOnYourBum » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:45 pm

It is worth considering a Jaguar X-Type Estate the 2.0D and 2.2D are pretty economical and nice to drive. They are essentially a Ford Mondeo estate made nicer by the people at Jaguar so they are pretty cheap for parts and servicing but are a bit luxury too. The seats fold down completely flat and I have slept in mine on several occasions and it has been fine and the boot is huge so you can fit loads of crap in there (I have had 3 kayaks plus kit in the back of mine with no issue).
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Re: van or estate?

Postby ATTMFKH » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:06 pm

Here's another option : Rover 75 CDT Estate - leather seats, 2 litre BMW diesel engines , 48mpg ................... 02,03 models going for around £1300 - big exec estate, loads of toys, bombproof engine ............. if you get over the 'it's a Rover' thing , then I reckon there is a bit of value in there ..... going to have a swatch at one tomorrow ....

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/ ... ars-EDE002
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Re: van or estate?

Postby defever » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:39 pm

I'm not familiar with how Rover earned this "unreliable" reputation but they are as good as any other mediocre makers. Definitely mechanically and structurally better than today's Kia and Hyundai. Even with all the mod-cons, they are nowhere near Rover's quality over 20 years ago... in my humble, BIASED opinion. Yes Rover's K-series engines (Post-Honda era, when 'Bubble' shape 200s and 400s came out in early 1990s) had factual problem with their head gasket, but if the car was regularly serviced as in the logbook and head gasket (and cambelt, of course) replaced at 60,000mileage (I think), then these engines will go on forever.

Again, I'm no mechanic but I hear this from former Rover mechanics as well as mechanics not affiliated to Rover. With any car, well with any object, if it's been well looked after, then they will last longer...

That Rover 75 looks nice. The rear windscreen split opens from rest of the boot door. Never noticed 75s had BMW's sharkfin on the roof. Let us know your thoughts when you have a look tomorrow, ATT.

And thanks for your input, SurfOnYourBum. Three kayaks (low volume playboats?) in the boot is impressive! I will indeed consider Jaguar...in 30yrs time, if you don't mind. I'm not so ready to wear tweed hat and loafers yet...I'm still happy with my Tibetan beanie and Havaianas. After all, I'm still young-ish, irrational, stupid and it's all about image...
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Re: van or estate?

Postby ATTMFKH » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:16 pm

^^ think you're nearly right on the K series ....... the reason they kept popping head gaskets was the cylinders had individual liners inserted that were very tight tolerance but with only a few thou (old skool) out they would stick above block and gasket seal would be shite - wear out pretty quickly.

Not sure I'm going to see that Rover mate - called the guy ... ' what's the service history ?' ...... don't know , nothing in logbook ...... did you buy it at auction ? er no, bought it off another Trader , how many owners, don't know .....I'll call you back ...... never heard from the dude ............... got the wrong vibe ...........
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Re: van or estate?

Postby defever » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:25 pm

ATTMFKH wrote:Not sure I'm going to see that Rover mate - called the guy ... ' what's the service history ?' ...... don't know , nothing in logbook ...... did you buy it at auction ? er no, bought it off another Trader , how many owners, don't know .....I'll call you back ...... never heard from the dude ............... got the wrong vibe ...........


Absolute fail as a trader...or may be he was already well into empting his bottle of scotch when you called him...either way, what a shame.



WELL, IT'S A ROVER.
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Re: van or estate?

Postby ATTMFKH » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:38 pm

could be OK - might take a punt - thing is you don't buy a car like that new and never service it - so it's gotta be good for at least 60K FSH , question is has Cambelt been changed - might be timing chain , need to check......
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Re: van or estate?

Postby wigsy » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:41 am

Have you looked into the older gen Subaru Forester, or Honda CR-Vs? Both have plenty of space, decent ground clearance, 4WD (full time on the Subaru, automatic on the Honda)

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Looking at a gen. 1 CRV for myself once I get rid of my Golf. Cheap enough to buy/run, Japanese reliability, ground clearance, 4WD, split rear window/door, and the boot floor is a picnic table!
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Re: van or estate?

Postby defever » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:43 am

If I were to pursue 4x4, then definitely Forrester, CR-V, Shogun, Cherokee, or even Discovery!
Their fuel economy is about the same, if not less than vans in exchange of being a 4x4 (citing swiggy's comments about 4x4 and RWDs).

If I lived in deep Devon/Cornwall permanently and I don't do any ridiculous cross-country drives frequently, then I may consider 4x4. Definitely a good choice for you though, Wigsy. I was in Wales last month and the amount of times I was gong through (some and most avoided) floods, mushy mud and 25% hills, I wished I had Discovery (they were everywhere on the road of Cymru).

I had a great surf at Whitesands Bay, thank you Wales.

ATT, there's a logic in your assumption. Would be interesting to see if 75 comes with any evidence of service history. I would, too, at least service a car like that regularly up to at least 60,000. But hey, those who buy executive cars obviously have big fat pocket (and body maybe), and over the years I have observed that sometimes load of money can destroy a bit of common sense...
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Re: van or estate?

Postby WP101 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:11 pm

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Re: van or estate?

Postby Biarritz Taxi » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:39 pm

wigsy wrote:Have you looked into the older gen Subaru Forester, or Honda CR-Vs?


A friend out here in Chamonix has a Forester. He describes it as a car which is "impossible to get stuck". When you have snow tyres as well then nothing can stop it.
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Re: van or estate?

Postby ATTMFKH » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:58 pm




what about those big pylons ? Far enough away ? :wink:
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