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scamper

Test sits

So, for the first time in years I took myself off to `prestige' dealerships to look at potential company car purchases.  

Comparing the 520d SE to the equivalent A6 tdi gave a clear winner on show room appeal.  The Audi seemed significantly more compact up front and behind but not in a driver focussed way.  Perhaps rear leg room was almost on the par with the BMW, but the rear seat base was way shorter as was the width.  Boot capacity I'd say the Beemer was bigger, but the stats say other wise.  I'm not sure what has happed to the Audi quality as the  Five was a significantly nicer place to sit in my eyes even with the Audi having optional extra posh leather. I couldn't spot one bit of plastic which looked cheapish and no natty boot lining as there was in the early versions of the `Bangle' Five.  In fact I just assumed the BMW had the Luxury pack, but the 17 alloys suggested other wise - I think the dark wood trim was a very well chosen option to replace the in vogue standard black high gloss stuff.  However, i've learnt the hard way, however nice it looks clean, beige leather is a no go. Choosing between the 4dr and Touring is not straight forward - apart from the obvious more practical opening the boot looked no bigger.

We then moved onto the 3 series touring - the step down in quality was obvious although it was of course a nice place to sit.  However I then had a nose around the GT version - boot capacity and rear leg room rivalled the 5 series, but with the added practicality of the hatch.  However, its give or take the same price of the 5 series, probably has less standard kit, and appears to have the un-tweaked two litre diesel,  and thus poorer emissions for company car man.

So overall I was pretty much surprised on how much the Five appealed and how quickly I dismissed the A6.  More to follow.....
Martin

Pretty surprised? You obviously don't read my posts!  
scamper

funny enough, I did after - have a lot of forum reading catching up to do. Oh, but you are wrong on the aluminium trim 😄
Martin

scamper wrote:
funny enough, I did after - have a lot of forum reading catching up to do. Oh, but you are wrong on the aluminium trim 😄


I'm not. Not with black leather anyway.  

I don't like the standard aluminium trim much, but the brushed option is very nice.
Big Blue

No, the ally trim looks like crap IMHO. I had it on my E46 in 1998 and the E39 that followed in 2001 had wood ticked as an immediate option.

No accounting for taste.
Michael

Aluminium trim (the real stuff) looks good with the right application. Painted plastic, which I have, looks crap.
Martin

Big Blue wrote:
No accounting for taste.


That is something I do agree with you about!  
scamper

michael wrote:
Aluminium trim (the real stuff) looks good with the right application. Painted plastic, which I have, looks crap.


Had a nice thick wedge in my 3 series - I think it was standard for the M Sport then - however, the strip on the door card was easily dented by shirt cufflings.  I notice now it looks like the posh ambient lighting inside and under the door handles is an option on the 5 series - that was standard on the M Sport back in the day too.  

To be fair, the plastic aluminium in my Ferrari Passat did look good.
Mark

michael wrote:
Aluminium trim (the real stuff) looks good with the right application. Painted plastic, which I have, looks crap.


I'm surprised that it's plastic - in the E92 it is real, thick metal?

I am also surprised that Scamper was disappointed with A6 interior quality v the 5 Series. Although I would choose the 5 all day long out of the pair.
Michael

There's a couple of metal options, I think one has a honeycomb print and the other is brushed but mine is definitely painted plastic.
scamper

michael wrote:
There's a couple of metal options, I think one has a honeycomb print and the other is brushed but mine is definitely painted plastic.


Come to think of it, even the metal in my old man's 787 Boxster S was plastic, and that was even with the full leather interior and dash etc  
scamper

Mark wrote:


I am also surprised that Scamper was disappointed with A6 interior quality v the 5 Series.


So was I. †Although reading a few other threads last night on this Forum, I don't seem to be imagining it either.  It is of course easy to ruin the quality look of a 5 interior.  My speccing aluminium trim, for example.  
Martin

scamper wrote:
michael wrote:
Aluminium trim (the real stuff) looks good with the right application. Painted plastic, which I have, looks crap.


Had a nice thick wedge in my 3 series - I think it was standard for the M Sport then - however, the strip on the door card was easily dented by shirt cufflings. †I notice now it looks like the posh ambient lighting inside and under the door handles is an option on the 5 series - that was standard on the M Sport back in the day too. †

To be fair, the plastic aluminium in my Ferrari Passat did look good.


The extended lighting still is standard on the 3 series M Sport but you need a 6 cylinder engine for it to be standard on the 5 series.
Alf McQueef

Spotter alert!
scamper

Had a quick look around a C class estate - seems nice enough, high quality. †Can't decide if I like the interior or not - has a whiff of †modern kitchen about it.
Michael

The interior is due for a facelift. I take it that was the kitchen sink spec you looked at?
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Martin wrote:
you need a 6 cylinder engine for it to be acceptable on the 5 series.

FYP
PhilD

Close the gates, somebody mentioned kitchens!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

PhilD wrote:
Close the gates, somebody mentioned kitchens!

Yes, but not in-car kettles.......
Roadsterstu

Do either have a full size spare wheel?

Chris M Wanted a V-10

I had some test-sits in some VW stuff on Saturday (out of curiosity as I was passing a dealership; few salespeople about and none approached me over a period of about 30 minutes.... maybe they sell so well that they don't have to try or maybe they could tell I wasn't going to buy that day).

Interior quality appears quite good, plastics feel a cut above more run-of-the-mill stuff, but the fake aluminium seems to be everywhere.

Golf SV looks and feels "interesting" but when you examine the spec, there are planty of things missing that are included on similarly priced rivals, and as mentioned in another thread, I easily added over £8k-worth of extras without going over-the-top or adding frivolous items.  (bi-xenons were £1200 extra, parking sensors don't come as standard front or rear)... however a space-saver spare is standard !
Roadsterstu

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
... however a space-saver spare is standard !


Half way there then!
Nice Guy Eddie

Had a test drive of the Mazda CX-5 on the weekend as we're keen to replace the missus Alfa Mito. I really quite liked it. Nice interior if you don't look to hard. The seats could do with a bit of extra side support as I found myself falling out of them when doing some furious corning but the ride quality was brilliant. Not much change from 30k and they weren't doing any deposit allowances and the dealer didn't want to talk figures really as I seemed to upset him whne I mentioned him getting near the broadspeed price.

I've been into 3 BMW dealers over the last week as I'm trying to talk the missus into a 3 series M sport touring. I haven't been approached once in any of them. Very odd but as has been said you seem to get a much better level of service from the less "premium" brands. I think its a case that now you need to book an appointment first.
scamper

More test sits.......

Firstly my colleague's Q3 Quattro - a lovely place to sit basically.   After the A6 mentioned above,  top notch materials, and passed my `press the dash for creaks' test with flying colours.   As an example the lower door storage bins are soft plastic/rubber compared to the new generation Passat I sat in the other day which is still hard plastic.  Moving onto the Passat the cabin in the relatively basic SE model seems half a notch or so above my previous generation Passat in both quality and ambiance, but still some way off the 5 series.  Various finance houses are banging the latest 150ps version of the 2.0tdi SE Business Estate out on pretty good finance deals at the moment and that model is easily the cheapest car I've looked at so far and of course very agreeable on the  benefit in kind. Very tempting if missing heated leather seats at that spec.  The more expensive all round Touran  in the showroom just looked dated inside and out next to the Passat.  The top of the range Sport doesn't even have sat nav let alone leather.

Following I went to the Ford dealership, but the usual bit of any old off cut ill fitting cheap  boot lining material put me off the Zetec Mondeo from the start.  The boot on the 5dr is of course huge, less than the Passat apparently but evidently a better shape. The cabin  if a little cheap looking in places, looked well built but not to my taste. I could not decide if they basically could not be arsed and just stuck a few strips of silver trim on the dash for the sake of it or they are minimising everything on purpose.  I also noticed the car seemed surprisingly low for its size.  Even me at only 5ft 8 felt cramped for head room with the seat on the lowest setting, not helped by a very gentle sloping A pillar.  

Finally down the Seat dealership which even on a Wednesday afternoon was pretty busy and the Alhambra with its 7 seats and huge 800 plus litre boot - I can't believe the S Max is bigger.  Obviously lots of  VW trim on show in the cabin but felt way better built than my Passat.  Again, there are some great contract hire deals available.  The range topper 140ps tdi with heated electric leather seats, reversing camera, electric sliding side doors and tail gate, sat nav etc etc is better speced than the VW Sharan, if only about £900 cheaper, but comes in at a whopping £120 less a month and only £2 more than the Touran. Impressive stuff in deed.
Giant

^
Is that the new Mondeo?

VW unveiled a 'face lifted', not that you'd be able to tell, Sharan yesterday which might affect lease rates. Also surely means an updated Alhambra is days away.
scamper

Yes, new Mondeo.

If a face lift Seat is due out I'm guessing going on the Sharan and Passat, it will have a new entertainment safety and general `tech' systems. Any usuable FG the VW will get, the Seat already has.  The most important upgrade will be the engine to make it more economical and pump out less carbons, although I'm not sure this is enough to off set the current deals around.
scamper

Citroen Grand Picasso in range topping exclusive plus trim

Lovely looking car for an MPV.  Quirky cockpit, which has some decent quality materials.  But also some really poor `french' tat.  I doubt the retractable parcel shelf will last more than a week in my Wife's hands, not helped by the material having the strength of rice paper. The lids to the under floor storage bins will last one day when my eldest finds them.  Lots of room in the car though, with easy to use folding seat system and huge boot, once the second row of individual seats are repositioned to our family spec.

The range topper is pretty expensive at circa £27k but you get a load of kit for that.  Seems impossible to get the local dealer to sell me one though let alone a test drive.  I get the impression some times with Dealers  their business managers are too busy chasing big fleet orders to worry about little old me.
JohnC

I had a Citroen Grand Picasso as a hire car a few years ago and really liked it. However some materials are just not up to the job: the extra 2 seats in ours wouldn't fold properly because some buffoon had forced them at some point and bent the mechanism which was a bit too flimsy for a car likely to get a fair bit of family abuse.

The drivetrain, ride, handling and equipment were all great. All spoiled for the sake of very little expense to improve quality.

My sister in law is looking at changing her Kuga and she is very impressed by the Nissan X-Trail which the dealer seems quite keen to sell given the discount and finance package offered.
Bob Sacamano

On my last rip to Aberdeen I was "upgraded" to a Citroen Grand Picasso and while it went and stopped OK for a vehicle of its bulk the interior really let it down, with cheap plastics and a screen in the dash that just looked naff. It's one of those cars that looks good in photos but up close a personal fails.
scamper

Funny you should day that, the big screen did look naff - like an 80's pc.  I just presumed (hoped) it would look better when lit up.  To be fair, the range topper was a nice enough place to sit though but its the cheap detailing you notice.  

My alternative is a Alhambra - typical VW `quality' - the safe bet and cheap to rent, if at least £55 a month more on the benefit in kind.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Bob Sacamano wrote:
On my last rip to Aberdeen I was "upgraded" to a Citroen Grand Picasso


Perish the thought... upgraded from what? A normal Picasso, a  Meriva, a C3 ???
Chip Butty

Thumbs up from me for the Alhambra (no...really † )

A good friend has one that he bought last year as an ex-dealer demo and he chopped in a Leon FR for it.

I was very impressed by the following :

Ride quality was excellent - very smooth ride but good body control

Levels of refinement are quite high with low wind and road noise

The 2.0 diesel engine was smooth and punchy - average economy was very good (or so I am told)

It's absolutely massive inside and the seat arrangement is intelligent. Practicality is off the charts - as a comparison, it's much more family friendly than a Disco 4.

It has an electric sliding door - which is cool as fuck

Downsides - the grey interior plastics (lower down) look cheap, the digital displays on the non Nav versions are cack and it looks like what it is (a big van thing).

However, it's a mega family car and my mate and his family love it.
scamper

Yes, even the boggo versions come with twin sliding doors, its just the range topper which the electrics to that and the tail gate, as well as the important heated leather seats which are also fully electric.  The next one down  still comes with sat nav, keyless entry, but no leather.

Just a pity the engine is not the latest efficient version with 150bhp, but can't see that being an issue.  Very VW inside as you'd expect, although it seems better quality than my last Passat.
scamper

Citroen must be putting some serious money behind their cars as even the range toping 150hp diesel is coming in £60 a month less than the Alhambra which has a list price of only £1300 more and presumably better residuals.
gonnabuildabuggy

scamper wrote:
Citroen must be putting some serious money behind their cars as even the range toping 150hp diesel is coming in £60 a month less than the Alhambra which has a list price of only £1300 more and presumably better residuals.


You've answered your own question there.
Big Blue

When I did the deal on my ma's DS4 I showed her the difference in the cost of buying a CitroŽn DS4 in the UK in France. Basically we get our cars for as good as free over here.
Bob Sacamano

Nearly new Citroens are an absolute bargain. It puzzles me how Citroen has allowed itself to become a discount brand where you never pay near full price.
scamper

Without going all `Martin', †its come down to two choices with more or less immediate delivery.

Alhambra 2.0 tdi I Tech. †Comes with inbuilt child seats. †I Tech adds nice alloys, keyless entry, sports seats and sat nav over the SE.

Pros: Know what you are getting, nice enough engine, masses of room.

Cons: No heated leather seats, white, costs (the business) an extra £80 a moth to rent. Costs me an extra £47 a month in tax over the Citroen.

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6hdi 115hp

Pros: Top spec exclusive plus, which adds some nice stuff like electric boot and sun roof. †French flair. †Cheaper (see above), nicer colour choice.

Cons: French flair. †Might be a bit slow. Not quite as practical. I will either fall in love with it, or it will get on my tits after one day. †Kids more likely to break it.
Martin

Going all Martin? †I'd struggle to summon the energy to post anything if that was my shortlist! †

Being serious for a second, the Picasso would be my preference, because it doesn't look like a van. †(although the Alhambra looks better than the Sharan). †Why not go for a Picasso with a better engine, a fully loaded 115hp is going to struggle.  Wouldn't that be a similar cost to you and the company as the Sharan and a fairer comparison?
scamper

Its what's available now or in the very near future.
PG

scamper wrote:
Its what's available now or in the very near future.


Why do you have to have it "now". I'd put it off as long as possible  

Seriously though, if you're worried that the Citroen will possibly piss you off, I'd not take that risk. Two / three years with a forced smile on your face is an awfully long time.
scamper

PG wrote:


Why do you have to have it "now".


Because the novelty value of doing a 1.30hr commute through the new M6/M54 roadworks in a T5 Transporter wore off a long time ago!  

And build times are into the summer.
PG

scamper wrote:
PG wrote:


Why do you have to have it "now".


Because the novelty value of doing a 1.30hr commute through the new M6/M54 roadworks in a T5 Transporter wore off a long time ago!


Are you getting an auto then? Every time I do that commute (2-3 times a week), I just thank my lucky stars that I've got a nice big comfy car and an automatic gearbox.  
gonnabuildabuggy

Why the family cars? Thought you had a Qashqai for that?

Jaguar XJ over both of those.
scamper

Not enough room in the Quashqai as a family car - also my 3 year old is kicking the back seats already.
Big Blue

scamper wrote:
- also my 3 year old is kicking the back seats already.


Whatever you buy this will happen.

How many juniors do you have to not be able to fit in a Qash-in?
cbeaks1

It's a small thing but the key for the I tech is a bit nasty.
Giant

Personally, every morning as I stepped outside to my white Alhambra, I'd feel I was getting into a van or airport minicab. Which would put a very slight dampener on every single morning.

Are other colours available 'now'?

The Grand Picasso would definitely be my choice of the two.

Also, although you don't want to wait for delivery, wouldn't that be preferable to diving into to a compromise car and regret it for the next few years?
JohnC

scamper wrote:
Not enough room in the Quashqai as a family car - also my 3 year old is kicking the back seats already.


Mine now apologise if they mark the back of the seats unintentionally. I think they knew by the age of 3 that you do not kick the seat or anything else. Full stop.
scamper

JohnC wrote:
scamper wrote:
Not enough room in the Quashqai as a family car - also my 3 year old is kicking the back seats already.


Mine now apologise if they mark the back of the seats unintentionally. I think they knew by the age of 3 that you do not kick the seat or anything else. Full stop.


While they are in a car seat up to the age of 4 there really isn't anything they can do not to as are sat further forward and higher so legs pressed against front seat back.  In the Quahqai the only way around this is to have the front passenger's legs chopped off and front seat pushed forward.
scamper

Giant wrote:
Personally, every morning as I stepped outside to my white Alhambra, I'd feel I was getting into a van or airport minicab. Which would put a very slight dampener on every single morning.

Are other colours available 'now'?

The Grand Picasso would definitely be my choice of the two.

Also, although you don't want to wait for delivery, wouldn't that be preferable to diving into to a compromise car and regret it for the next few years?


The Taxi bit  doesn't really bother me - I like cars which are fully fit for their intended purpose, however mudane.

Which brings me back to an eventual Picasso test drive.  Perhaps I've been in a van too long, but the 1.6hdi 115hp is quite a peach.  Quiet, refined and enough acceleration 2 up.  The ride I was expecting to be softer/comfier - still very nice on smooth stuff, but it does seem to tramline a bit and crash over potholes or manhole covers.  

And as for `the get on my tits' bit.  Cup holders too close together for coffee take outs; to change air con temp involves constant jabbing on the LCD display with varied success; I'm no giant, but I physically could not pull down the sun visor past my head and this was next to useless anyway as it covered about one inch of the huge expanse of panoramic glass way above my eye line - I hope the glass dims when you drive into the sun
Martin

JohnC wrote:
Mine now apologise if they mark the back of the seats unintentionally. I think they knew by the age of 3 that you do not kick the seat or anything else. Full stop.


Exactly as it should be!  
PG

JohnC wrote:
Mine now apologise if they mark the back of the seats unintentionally. I think they knew by the age of 3 that you do not kick the seat or anything else. Full stop.


If we kicked the seat-back my dad went beserk. We quickly learnt not to kick the seat. Or slam the car doors when we got out.

Kids today eh!  
TreVoR

I got called all sorts when I had the audacity to complain to a parent on a plane about their brat kicking the back of my seat.          

I was always careful when I was a kid.
Alf McQueef

The BMW - and the Audi before it - both have/had those plastic seat backs, not leather. I wonder if this is why? The GTA had leather and I got more sparky about that, not helped by the limited rear leg room.

I get the feeling JohnC has his kids trained to get the leather cleaner out and erase all signs of them being in the car, from about age 4 † If I could get Lu not to step on the sill - which being nearly 10 and tall for her age she has no need to - that would be a minor miracle!
Frank Bullitt

scamper wrote:


Which brings me back to an eventual Picasso test drive. †Perhaps I've been in a van too long, but the 1.6hdi 115hp is quite a peach. †Quiet, refined and enough acceleration 2 up. †The ride I was expecting to be softer/comfier - still very nice on smooth stuff, but it does seem to tramline a bit and crash over potholes or manhole covers. †

And as for `the get on my tits' bit. †Cup holders too close together for coffee take outs; to change air con temp involves constant jabbing on the LCD display with varied success; I'm no giant, but I physically could not pull down the sun visor past my head and this was next to useless anyway as it covered about one inch of the huge expanse of panoramic glass way above my eye line - I hope the glass dims when you drive into the sun


Climate control - you're not a girl, so select a temperature then leave it. The windscreen demist has, from memory, an easily identifiable button on the screen.

Sun visors - it sounds like you missed the 'blind' - all C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso models have, in addition to the sun visor, a blind that you pull down the screen to 'hide' the extra bit of windscreen you get - pull at the visor in a forward motion (if that makes sense) and the whole thing slides down. If you put the visor down with this pulled back then yes, it's useless. The dealer can show you if that doesn't make sense.

Good old YouTube ;

http://youtu.be/htN1YC-Y_7I

The engine is the same as our DS4 but with extra grunt in the mid range - you won't TLGP much but it's very capable indeed and wonderfully smooth in a way even VAG common rail units don't seem to be. If have no qualms about one in the slightly heavier Grand.

Interior quality - we had he old one and nothing fell apart inside or got damaged, they my lack an element of perceived quality (something I think the new one largely overcomes) but it's all solid. The seats on the Exclusive+ are massaging affairs and, frankly, bloody lovely and he driving position is much more normal than the slightly 'bus like' older version.

My neighbours son has an Alhamvra - it's one hell of a dull car, I'm sure it's got loads going for it but it's dull dull dull.
gonnabuildabuggy

scamper wrote:
Not enough room in the Quashqai as a family car - also my 3 year old is kicking the back seats already.


Hadn't realised they were that small in the back. Get an FRV to replace it.

When I told the kids I'd sold the E500 the comment I got was that "it was a great car but a bit uncomfortable on long journeys"  

This is the default Taxi for Western Europe, a car I've sat in the back of for miles over the years without a hint of discomfort, but the legroom of the FRV trumps it by miles so a 6ft teenager is able to relax even more than the driver.
PG

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
This is the default Taxi for Western Europe, a car I've sat in the back of for miles over the years without a hint of discomfort, but the legroom of the FRV trumps it by miles so a 6ft teenager is able to relax even more than the driver.


So what scamper really needs is a Skoda Superb estate? I'd go for that over a "van".
JohnC

PG wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
This is the default Taxi for Western Europe, a car I've sat in the back of for miles over the years without a hint of discomfort, but the legroom of the FRV trumps it by miles so a 6ft teenager is able to relax even more than the driver.


So what scamper really needs is a Skoda Superb estate? I'd go for that over a "van".


A big estate would be my choice too.
gonnabuildabuggy

A Superb estate is definitely worth a look I'd say.

Though I'd just get Mrs. Scamper and FRV to replace the Qashqai.
Big Blue

I was wondering about the pull-down blind that FB mentions; they all have that.

I'd query the issue of an estate over a higher seating position if that's what Mrs S wants.
scamper

Frank Bullitt wrote:
scamper wrote:


Which brings me back to an eventual Picasso test drive. †Perhaps I've been in a van too long, but the 1.6hdi 115hp is quite a peach. †Quiet, refined and enough acceleration 2 up. †The ride I was expecting to be softer/comfier - still very nice on smooth stuff, but it does seem to tramline a bit and crash over potholes or manhole covers. †

And as for `the get on my tits' bit. †Cup holders too close together for coffee take outs; to change air con temp involves constant jabbing on the LCD display with varied success; I'm no giant, but I physically could not pull down the sun visor past my head and this was next to useless anyway as it covered about one inch of the huge expanse of panoramic glass way above my eye line - I hope the glass dims when you drive into the sun


Climate control - you're not a girl, so select a temperature then leave it. The windscreen demist has, from memory, an easily identifiable button on the screen.

Sun visors - it sounds like you missed the 'blind' - all C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso models have, in addition to the sun visor, a blind that you pull down the screen to 'hide' the extra bit of windscreen you get - pull at the visor in a forward motion (if that makes sense) and the whole thing slides down. If you put the visor down with this pulled back then yes, it's useless. The dealer can show you if that doesn't make sense.

Good old YouTube ;

http://youtu.be/htN1YC-Y_7I

The engine is the same as our DS4 but with extra grunt in the mid range - you won't TLGP much but it's very capable indeed and wonderfully smooth in a way even VAG common rail units don't seem to be. If have no qualms about one in the slightly heavier Grand.

Interior quality - we had he old one and nothing fell apart inside or got damaged, they my lack an element of perceived quality (something I think the new one largely overcomes) but it's all solid. The seats on the Exclusive+ are massaging affairs and, frankly, bloody lovely and he driving position is much more normal than the slightly 'bus like' older version.

My neighbours son has an Alhamvra - it's one hell of a dull car, I'm sure it's got loads going for it but it's dull dull dull.


All good stuff thanks Chris.  The sun visor thing now makes sense    The problem was I was with the business manager who knew absolutely nothing about the car - they sell no cars for Fleets - its all vans.

Do you know what the 150hpp version is like.  I'd have to wait for this, and fone or two bits I've read on line seem to suggest  new Euro 6 isn't quite sorted yet in the car?
scamper

PG wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
This is the default Taxi for Western Europe, a car I've sat in the back of for miles over the years without a hint of discomfort, but the legroom of the FRV trumps it by miles so a 6ft teenager is able to relax even more than the driver.


So what scamper really needs is a Skoda Superb estate? I'd go for that over a "van".


I've sat in the outgoing Superb and it really is a quality product, but you know who will not have a Skoda, full stop. †A pity as even leg room and boot room in the 5dr Octavia is huge - a Scout would really appeal.

For the forum Victorian Dads I was using "kicking the back seats" metaphorically. † The Quashqai really is no bigger than a Focus, if that.

The problem with estate cars is the boots are a good size, but from experience with the Passat, they are just too shallow when trying to pack all our stuff ie you can't say get a suit case on top of the bike trailer etc. The C4 isn't what you call a wedge shape boot, but makes up for this when individual seats moved forward giving a huge boot and unlike in some MPV's I've looked at, the flappy bits of boot trim actually work and fit the gaps properly.
Big Blue

Can't you get a C4 Cactus?
scamper

Is that the one with matresses strapped to the side?

Out of interest the C4's boot is 632 litres, 18 down the latest Passat estate.  However, move the seats around and this goes to 793 which is almost the same as a Alvanra  
PhilD

Big Blue wrote:
Can't you get a C4 Cactus?


Don't ask, it's a prickly subject.
Martin

PG wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
This is the default Taxi for Western Europe, a car I've sat in the back of for miles over the years without a hint of discomfort, but the legroom of the FRV trumps it by miles so a 6ft teenager is able to relax even more than the driver.


So what scamper really needs is a Skoda Superb estate? I'd go for that over a "van".


That's exactly what I thought when I saw one on the M1, but I see it's been ruled out already.  Vans are OK, but Skodas aren't....very strange!

I've ridden in the back of a few previous generation E Class and the rear seat is very flat and hard, not what I'd call comfortable.  I remember my mum getting into the back of my 520d (when they had an E Class) and saying the rear seat was more comfortable than the front seat in the E!
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

PhilD wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
Can't you get a C4 Cactus?

Don't ask, it's a prickly subject.

Or a Dacia Sand-ero
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Martin wrote:

I've ridden in the back of a few previous generation E Class and the rear seat is very flat and hard, not what I'd call comfortable.

Reminds me of a quote from years ago in Autocar by an M-B employee:

"Hard seats are good for you because we at Mercedes-Benz say so!"
Big Blue

scamper wrote:
Is that the one with mattresses strapped to the side?


I saw one this morning in Ba-ter-sia and they look amazingly cool for what they actually are. Of course anything looks cool in Battersea these days - it had better do with those new flats under the shadow of the power station smoke stacks at a million quid a pop.
Martin

It's not a great area is it? †You've got the expensive flats, then some dodgy old shops / a garage and then Homebase, it's not somewhere I'd like to live.   They'll be some new flats on the Homebase site in the next couple of years, it was impossible to resist the £52m offer for the land!!

There is an all black Cactus that lives around the corner from me and it looks OK, but I'm not a fan. †5th Gear loved it.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
It's not a great area is it? †You've got the expensive flats, then some dodgy old shops / a garage and then Homebase, it's not somewhere I'd like to live.


The Powerstation area is going to look great in 5-10 years but the nice bit is the park, houses north of Battersea park Road, and the stuff to the east of the Park near the river.
scamper

Could be worse; my garden wall is used as the local drug dealing spot. Scampervan had stuff nicked out of it last week, and they were back hoping over my rear garden gate  last night  
Frank Bullitt

The C4 Cactus wouldn't be big enough - despite the name it's a C3 Picasso underneath, not small as such but smaller than a C4 Grand Picasso; the boot is 350L too.

I've not read any negative issues with the 2.0HDi 'Blue' engine and those who have it seem to be very impressed - I've no personal experience of the unit but it would be worth trying one.
Alf McQueef

scamper wrote:
Could be worse; my garden wall is used as the local drug dealing spot. Scampervan had stuff nicked out of it last week, and they were back hoping over my rear garden gate †last night †


That's nothing a well rigged Claymore mine would not sort out...

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