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Alf McQueef

Test sits - Ford garage

Having effectively - if not explicitly - put a stop to my potentially ruinous C63 AMG experiment by deciding she wanted to change her car first (along with my enduring liking of my car, worries over fuel prices, and the feeling that since I am not even a 50% tax payer I'm not in that league) Mrs ALF finally started to move on the car front today. She has in mind changing the Plus before we go on holiday in mid August, which is pushing it a bit if we go the new route - it would need to be something in stock!

We have both been very busy but today she decided to head out and test drive the reasonably local C Max 1.6 ecoboost titanium that we had been eyeing on AT for some weeks - only the bloody thing sold yesterday (luckily we checked first). This has been the only one on AT remotely near here for weeks.

So instead we headed to the local Ford dealer as step one is seeing what the C Max is like in the metal. Annoyingly for me this is next to a Mercedes dealership and we parked next to a C63 AMG while another repeatedly rumbled past.   A poor start was the salesman swearing blind for some time that there is no 1.6 150 bhp turbo petrol model, finally solved by us grabbing a brochure. And he looked like the more switched-on one...

Anyway we sat in a Zetec 1.0 ecoboost and while the Zetec interior trim is quite nasty for a modern car (we would need Titanium for sure, the Ti X has been ruled out for part leather seats), it is exactly what we need in terms of size, boot size, and nice raised rear seats as Lu likes, and Mrs ALF liked the seating position (my "low" seats being the reason she does not just take mine on). Next step is to both test drive this same car next week (I'm all over the country for the remainder of this week, some bastard booked a meeting in Harrogate for me on Friday afternoon) so she can see if she likes the overall drive/feel.  If so we will be happy to move on one in the right spec - we may even love the 1.0 ecoboost engine and add that to the list alongside the 1.6. Diesels are out - obviously. Mrs ALF felt the long screen made the interior feel a bit odd, to me it felt very much like the Plus - not my bag but not really any better or worse.

We also looked at a new Kuga in a high spec with lovely (to me) soft leather, this was a lovely thing but probably too big for us, and too much new - and the chances of a SH petrol are even slimmer! Anyway the interior was very nice and the driving position more to my tastes than an MPV. And we sat in a late last-shape Kuga, that was a great size (though the boot is lacking) but felt really, really cheap in comparison with the new one. So they are out.

With no pushing at all the sales guy offered £17500 for a new C Max Ti 1.6 ecoboost - there are a couple in the system for immediate delivery, including a nice grey one (the other is white, which I like but Mrs ALF doesn't). Doesn't sound too bad, there are very few available SH, and those that are in the Ford system are nearly new and barely cheaper.  

My only real worry with all this is that Mrs ALF seems spectacularly unexcited, and while this is nothing unusual she clearly far prefers the idea of an X1, describing this as an interim car and not the X1 she wanted. So while £11k on a 3 year old one seems fine, if we were looking to a new one I will definitely get her to test a petrol X1 as well to see how that fares - there are still bugger-all available SH but if I'm not changing mine in a hurry I would be happy to get a new one on finance at the right price. Work is going well so I could put at least 50% down and pay some serious lumps off per quarter.

On that front I suppose a new Kuga petrol might also be in the running, I need to see how much bigger than an X1 it really is. It felt X3 sized.

Anyway, some movement! It's only a matter of time before the EGR valve on the Plus starts messing us around again so time is of the essence...
Racing Teatray

BMW appear to be offering some pretty good deals on X1s...ok so this example on the website is for a 4WD 20d version but I imagine that if they are prepared to put £4k into a diesel, the discount on the slower-selling petrol version would be beefier yet and more than offset any additional depreciation:



To my eyes, the X1 has matured into a much more respectable-looking machine than it was originally, and xLine trim is quite appealing.

I specced up an xDrive20i xLine to my liking (ie plentiful FG) and got to just over £35k. Feeding that into the calculator with a few assumptions around discount and estimated GFV, and the same deposit as above, and I got a monthly amount over 36 months of just over £400.

Martin

£17,500 is £2,000 more than the Drivethedeal price, so there is some way to go on the negotiation.

The X1 does look better than it did......
PG

My man maths, and the very important "keeping the Mrs" happy over-ride, tells me that now that you have "postponed" your C63, why not go the whole hog and buy a petrol X1 new? I bet you could get a good discount and if you keep it several years, the running costs and depreciation will average out.

Because if you buy a C Max Mrs Alf does not really want now, and chop it in in 3 years for an X1, you'll still lose a lot of cash on the C Max.
Martin

PG wrote:
My man maths, and the very important "keeping the Mrs" happy over-ride, tells me that now that you have "postponed" your C63, why not go the whole hog and buy a petrol X1 new? I bet you could get a good discount and if you keep it several years, the running costs and depreciation will average out.

Because if you buy a C Max Mrs Alf does not really want now, and chop it in in 3 years for an X1, you'll still lose a lot of cash on the C Max.


That makes a lot of sense.  If she's happy, she might not worry about you getting something interesting in 6 months time.....
Michael

Good luck in Harrogate on Friday. The Great Yorkshire show ends Thursday but it will be ridiculously busy on Friday.
Nice Guy Eddie

My missus wants an X1. Ive tried to ignore her but shes becoming far more persistent. What do I do, I've suggested cx5, 135i anything but she keeps coming back to the X1. Anyone got any better ideas as I'm running out of reasons why she shouldn't get one?
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Does your wife want a specific type of vehicle or just something that she likes? Bit of a difference bewteen a Golf Plus, Golf SV and an X1 or Kuga
Martin

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
My missus wants an X1. Ive tried to ignore her but shes becoming far more persistent. What do I do, I've suggested cx5, 135i anything but she keeps coming back to the X1. Anyone got any better ideas as I'm running out of reasons why she shouldn't get one?


Either stick to your guns, or swap her instead of the car.  

Or a cheaper option would be to take her to your nearest Porsche dealer and let her try a Cayman, that should do it.   I think you said she liked them, or maybe it was you who wanted her to like them!
Giant

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
My missus wants an X1. Ive tried to ignore her but shes becoming far more persistent. What do I do?


Take her to spec savers!
Roadsterstu

Martin wrote:
£17,500 is £2,000 more than the Drivethedeal price, so there is some way to go on the negotiation.

The X1 does look better than it did......


Does it drive any better? I seriously dislike our X1 at work. It just feels so heavy and cumbersome. It's bloody hard work to drive.
Roadsterstu

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
My missus wants an X1. Ive tried to ignore her but shes becoming far more persistent. What do I do, I've suggested cx5, 135i anything but she keeps coming back to the X1. Anyone got any better ideas as I'm running out of reasons why she shouldn't get one?


They're shit?

Seriously, she needs to drive one for a decent amount of time. In town. In traffic. Then drive in a tight car park.
PhilD

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
My missus wants an X1. Ive tried to ignore her but shes becoming far more persistent. What do I do, I've suggested cx5, 135i anything but she keeps coming back to the X1. Anyone got any better ideas as I'm running out of reasons why she shouldn't get one?


GLA?
Racing Teatray

I am fortunate in the only car my wife-to-be would be prepared to swap her 500 for (apart from an Abarth 500C) is a Porsche 911. She even went so far as to suggest she'd happily have one in lieu of an engagement ring, but I did have to point out that, as nice as her rock is, it didn't cost anything like as much as a decent 997 of the sort she has in mind!

She doesn't like driving big cars and therefore as far as she's concerned, if we need a big car at any stage, that can be mine and she'll have the sporty number, Martin-style.
Frank Bullitt

Roadsterstu wrote:
Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
My missus wants an X1. Ive tried to ignore her but shes becoming far more persistent. What do I do, I've suggested cx5, 135i anything but she keeps coming back to the X1. Anyone got any better ideas as I'm running out of reasons why she shouldn't get one?


They're shit?

Seriously, she needs to drive one for a decent amount of time. In town. In traffic. Then drive in a tight car park.


My colleague had one as a courtesy car when his current 3 was in for an accident repair for three weeks - he despised everything about it. His boss took it out for a spin as he was thinking of getting one for his mrs but brought it back after a few minutes declaring it to be a pile of shit.

So the conclusion seems to be to drive one.
Racing Teatray

Got around to looking at X1 discounts on Broadspeed - it's £5k+ on a xDrive20i xLine.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

How about a Suzuki SX4-cross ?
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Racing Teatray wrote:
... my wife-to-be ...

You're engaged now? Congratulations ...
Racing Teatray

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Racing Teatray wrote:
... my wife-to-be ...

You're engaged now? Congratulations ...


Yup. Since Easter.
Boxer6

Racing Teatray wrote:
Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Racing Teatray wrote:
... my wife-to-be ...

You're engaged now? Congratulations ...


Yup. Since Easter.


Don't tell anyone, will you?  

(Similar references have been made before Dr. H - albeit a bit more subtle).
Alf McQueef

Congratulations Racing, if I have not said that already!

Mrs ALF has been Googling away and it seems the (mostly female, from the forums she has been on) owners of C Max's like them a lot. She seems less fussed about the image of either - she will simply test them both and see.

Size wise I looked at the stats and the X1 is between the Kuga and the C Max, I think the Kuga is probably bigger than we want.

If I am not changing mine for a bit then the difference in cost between a new C Max and X1 is not enough to make a difference to the decision process - it is one quarter's "spare" so 3 months of my life. That passes in an instant when I'm as busy as I have been these past 5 years of being in this job.

Even without taking the extra cost of the X1 into account, while I used to far prefer the idea of the X1 I have to say I'm pretty 50/50 on it now - as long as we can find the 150 bhp C Max around. Evo say it handles better than many hot hatches so on a straight enjoyment and speed perspective it is going to kill the Plus. I also like the arrangement inside - perfect seats for Lu, massive boot, and not big overall. SUV's tend to have weedy boots for their overall size, and when this is a holidays car, that matters!
gonnabuildabuggy

Congrats Racing.

Alf, drive an X1 (or rather get SWMBO to drive one).

One other option, dare I say it, the new 2 series people carrier (is it a 2 series?)
Racing Teatray

Thanks all. Wedding set for October, so plenty to do!
Martin

Belated congratulations!

You just have one thing to sort out, your transport to the church/venue!

I won't suggest a Z1....  
Alf McQueef

Michael wrote:
Good luck in Harrogate on Friday. The Great Yorkshire show ends Thursday but it will be ridiculously busy on Friday.


You were not wrong - what I did not really want after a 5 hour drive that started with some fairly serious traffic in London then the M1 was road closures and traffic here! Still, here now...Just about to start on a day's worth of e-mail and order room service. The romance of business travel!

The best bit is, this poxy meeting late tomorrow afternoon is covering for my north region colleague who is off on a jolly at HQ in Amsterdam! I chose not to go, to avoid the disruption to family life of being away for a few days on a pointless jolly, then got this instead which (given I'll be back late tomorrow) has also cost me two evenings at home.
Boxer6

Alf McQueef wrote:
Michael wrote:
Good luck in Harrogate on Friday. The Great Yorkshire show ends Thursday but it will be ridiculously busy on Friday.


You were not wrong - what I did not really want after a 5 hour drive that started with some fairly serious traffic in London then the M1 was road closures and traffic here! Still, here now...Just about to start on a day's worth of e-mail and order room service. The romance of business travel!

The best bit is, this poxy meeting late tomorrow afternoon is covering for my north region colleague who is off on a jolly at HQ in Amsterdam! I chose not to go, to avoid the disruption to family life of being away for a few days on a pointless jolly, then got this instead which (given I'll be back late tomorrow) has also cost me two evenings at home.


I presume you were in the northbound queue I passed on my way down to MK this afternoon Alf? Bad-ish smash which also caused tail-backs Southbound too - rubberneckers really do boil my piss …...
Giant

^ There's a lesson there! Always go on jollies, even if they don't appeal, otherwise you end up being the mug doing the work of ten whilst they're having a great time.
Alf McQueef

Boxer6 wrote:


I presume you were in the northbound queue I passed on my way down to MK this afternoon Alf? Bad-ish smash which also caused tail-backs Southbound too - rubberneckers really do boil my piss …...


That was a close thing - in fact the TomTom HD traffic took me off at MK and back southbound on the M1 for a few miles before tracking across to the A1M and up that way, which is nicer anyway. I get diverted a lot but have never before been diverted back the way I had come! It felt wrong but I know to trust it...
Alf McQueef

This is going nowhere fast - they sold the 125 model the day before Mrs ALF was going to test it, and only had a 125 "Grand C Max" (a much heavier car) or a 100bhp normal one - both are too far from what we would be buying to be worth testing given that following that test we may be placing an order! Mentally we both seem in C-Max mode unless we don't like the drive, I have been tentatively looking at ex-demo petrol X1's (all had leather ) but the C Max is more us really, as a family car.

They keep saying they have another 125 on the way but never calling. Still, at least we have worked out who the "salesman" reminds us of - the father in American Pie (only wetter).

One month to our holidays - we may have left this too late! If we can speak to a real person at the dealership I will be interested to know if the grey 1.6 Ti ecoboost (one of the two available at Ford UK) is still unsold. Mrs ALF is heading in there tomorrow - they had better stand by!
gonnabuildabuggy

Serious comment.

Try a late model FRV - loads of space, high up and quite a few optioned up - privacy glass and leather.

Not a new car but better than a C Max.

Not the best but this kind of thing - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-F...obiles_UK&hash=item27e1b491f6
Martin

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
Not the best but this kind of thing - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-F...obiles_UK&hash=item27e1b491f6


That's a diesel!      

Didn't Honda stop making the FRV over 5 years ago?

Poor service from the Ford dealer.
Alf McQueef

The FRV was a contender last time around but Mers ALF does not like the looks of them much.

While size and packaging are perfect, I don't see it being a contender on the performance / driving front at all, which is important this time around (when we got the Plus Mrs ALF had major back issues and drove like a granny. Now she both drives and allows herself to be driven faster!).

Read this, which is of the exact model we are looking at, and in a magazine that speaks the truth:

http://www.evo.co.uk/carreviews/e...ford_cmax_16_ecoboost_review.html

Or if you can't be bothered here are some highlights. Doubt you'll find this about an FRV:

"What’s it like to drive? Astonishingly good, is the answer." "The C-Max feels amazingly poised and agile, slicing into corners with fine control from both steering and throttle, always keen, never flustered. To handle with such precision while riding with such suppleness is a major achievement." "
The engine, too, is impressive. It has minimal turbo lag, an almost diesel-like midrange thrust out of tight corners, and plenty of high-revs energy" "Against other compact MPVs, its driving dynamics are in another league. Against mid-size, Golf-class hatchbacks, it's again a clear leader despite being taller" "one of the best electric (steering) systems yet encountered."


I rest my case m'lud.
gonnabuildabuggy

I'd say the engine might be close to being a match being a VTEC, it thrives on revs.

Driving wise they got some good reviews when launched compared to the competition but never got the Sniff Petrol style review the C Max did.

Does it drive fast - yes, I can keep up with most stuff if I rev it. does it outhandle most stuff? No, put I think it does OK, certainly the Astra I've got now doesn't feel much better.

Does it look better? That's down to opinion I guess, it looks a lot like a B Class (people have confused it with that) and 2 Series Touring.
cbeaks1

Alf - in terms of new there is 1 C-Max titanium 1.6 Ecoboost in the vehicle holding centre (with 18" wheels, Priv glass and parking sensors), and no others uncontracted in the network that are anywhere near being in the country.

Allen ford Swindon had one delivered 2 days ago in black that is supposed to be a demo. Might be worth a call.

There are a handful on ford direct in red, silver or black.
Michael

Are these worth a look?
http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-revi...ve-tourer-218d-first-drive-review
Alf McQueef

Michael wrote:
Are these worth a look?
http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-revi...ve-tourer-218d-first-drive-review


Not on that review- plus I bet there will be an "early adopter" penalty for a while, and we want something yesterday and I like a discount!

It is pretty ugly as well - I actually like the new B class but that does not look good at all, on the outside anyway.
Alf McQueef

Michael wrote:
Are these worth a look?
http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-revi...ve-tourer-218d-first-drive-review


Not on that review- plus I bet there will be an "early adopter" penalty for a while, and we want something yesterday!

It is pretty ugly as well - I actually like the new B class but that does not look good at all, on the outside anyway.
gonnabuildabuggy

Spent a day following a guy with a B Class around yesterday.

Nice interior/exterior and some cheap leases about.

Nearly as nice as an FRV but nowhere near as practical  

(think about it - 3 up front and your bikes in the back!)
Alf McQueef

Mrs ALF has tried a C Max in 1.0  125bhp Zetec guise and declares that she really liked it - perfect size, great comfort/refinement, loves the driving position, felt much quicker than the Plus.

She prefers basic air con to climate control (I vehemently oppose this view!), and seems less bothered with the Zetec spec interior than I am. She is also happy with a 125! This gives us some leeway if we struggle to find a 150, but no-one is going to convince me I don't want the extra bhp, especially as the mpg benefit seems minimal. My car has 272 bhp but does not exactly kill you the second you look at the loud pedal, you still need to be in the right gear at the right time.

The dealer claims they have one new 150 in black available, if they do then we will probably make them an offer tomorrow. If not then I'll be chasing up cbeaks's leads! Unfortunately I have a Spanish guy with minimal English shadowing me all week to improve his English, so I have packed my calendar - next week I'm off. Mrs ALF is a robust negotiator however so well capable of doing the deed without me!
Martin

I'd hold out for a 150hp version, you'll be much happier when you're 3 up and full of holiday stuff!  
PG

Martin wrote:
I'd hold out for a 150hp version, you'll be much happier when you're 3 up and full of holiday stuff!  


Good point - I expect one up the 125 can cope. Full up, on a steep hill somewhere, might be a very different matter.

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