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Motors New Car Advice: AWD, Gadgety Motorway Miler

Discussion in 'General' started by ShakeyJake, 25 Jul 2016.

  1. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    Hello folks!

    For background, I currently commute 8 miles each way to an office, and then I use a pool car to do my travelling whilst I'm at work.

    However, I have managed to swing a brand new job (yey!) that means a change of office. More specifically, it means no office. I'm going to be home based one or two days a week but I'm doing outreach events and activities in the whole of the North East and Yorkshire, so there's going to be lots of motorway miles, travelling long distances in my own vehicle.

    What this means is that my current garage is no longer suitable. I wouldn't fancy driving my beloved Land Rover Defender anywhere near the motorway for as start. Thankfully I've never had to as I also own a Renault Scenic, but it's just celebrated its' 12th birthday and its' 108,000th mile. I worry about how much farther it's going to take me.

    The Defender isn't going anywhere, but I could really use something to replace the Scenic. I live in what scientists would describe as 'the sticks' and it's about half a mile down a dirt track to the nearest road. So something that can a bit of rough would be great. If you know anything about cars, I'd appreciate your advice on the following:

    • Budget £15,000 - Less is better obviously! Used is encouraged but not too used, we're aiming for reliability.
    • Decent size - I play in a band and I'll be carrying resources for work.
    • Comfortable, refined motorway vehicle.
    • Sat-nav is a must for work, but generally the more toys the better. It's Bit-Tech, we need gadgets.
    • All wheel drive (or selectable 4wd) - be nice to not have the drive the landie down the track to the road, just to change into the 'road car'. I live in the country, so awd can be a literal lifesaver.
    • It'd be great if it was a nice drive. I'm surrounded by my family's fast German cars and I'm quite a keen driver but you wouldn't guess from my driveway currently. I was all set to buy a Fiesta ST to replace the Scenic before the job change.
    • Lastly, something a bit different would be perfect! My dad is trying to sell me on a 3 or 5 series estate and honestly, I'd rather get the bus. They're amazing cars, but just not my cup of tea. :yawn:
    • Automatic preferred, but I'd happily eschew this for a 'fun' car to drive.

    I've driven the following.

    Mitsubishi ASX
    [​IMG]
    Good 2.2 diesel and auto 'box, reliable, actually slightly capable off road. Bit slow though, and generally a bit family wagon. Despite this, I think it's on top currently.

    Volvo V60
    [​IMG]
    Good 2.4, fast 0-60 but really lifeless to drive. Very refined and grown up. Can't place it, but for some reason I don't like it as much as the ASX, even though I'm pretty convinced it's the better car.

    What am I missing? I'd given thought to the Subaru Outback (great but boring), or the Legacy Spec B for a bit of fun. BMW X1 maybe?

    Input, advice, ownership reports, anything much much appreciated guys and girls!

    Thanks,
    Jack
     
  2. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    I had the ASX for a couple of weeks last year - insurance courtesy car. We covered about 1400 miles over that fortnight, so I think I got to know it reasonably well. It handled corners better than I expected, the ride height was just about spot on for getting in and out of and it didn't look too bad for a 4x4. Oh, and it wasn't terrible on fuel. That's about it.

    It handled the corners ok because the ride was too stiff which, combined with the hard seats, didn't make for a comfortable long distance cruiser. The boot seemed a bit small for vehicle that size, some of the interior stuff didn't feel like it was built to last. The front wings are plastic and deform alarmingly if you lean against them, even lightly - did not inspire confidence - and visibilty wasn't great.

    I haven't driven that model Volvo, but I'd lay money that it's a better car than the ASX.
     
  3. RinSewand

    RinSewand What's a Dremel?

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    Doesn't fit fun, but check out the Suzuki Vitari, a friend just got one and its one huge amount of car for the money. Drive wasn't too bad.
     
  4. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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  5. veato

    veato I should be working

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    Subaru Legacy?
     
  6. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    Has to be some sort of subaru surely...
     
  7. Jehla

    Jehla Minimodder

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    On the subject of tech.

    I don't know what age you're looking at but I currently own a 12 year old car. The technology in it is laughable, I even have a slot in one of the cubby holes to connect a Sony Ericson phone to the stereo/hands free!
    If you are after a sat nav I'd be looing for something I can fit a double din with android auto/ car play on it.


    So the answer isn't 3 series or mx5... I need to sit down and revaluate some things.
     
  8. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    That Volvo should get you a great mileage...

    Skoda Octavia 4x4?
     
  9. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    Hi guys, belated update.

    Thanks for all the advice, particularly those warning me off the ASX. I can't get to grips with that Volvo, so that left me looking at other awd estates. The Subaru Outback would have been perfect, but it's far too much money, maybe next time around I'll be able to pick up a used one from the current gen.

    Anyway, in this class all things eventually lead (as Xir suggested) to the Skoda Octavia Scout. Now, the Octavia was brilliant but it lacked a certain kerb appeal for me, something which the Yeti Outdoor L&K parked next to it did not. After a bit of to and fro with prices I'm looking to get one now I think. Whilst it isn't engaging to drive the way that a Fiesta ST is, it's still pretty fun in a 'bends the rules of physics' sort of a way and the 150ps 2 litre isn't slow either. I hear reports of good remapping options too.

    I'm definitely losing some style coming from say that Volvo V60 but it means that I've got a proper(ish) off road car with every gadget under the sun. It's a really decent motorway miler and I won't feel too bad getting it muddy or covering it with dog hair.

    Anyone got a Yeti Outdoor?
     
  10. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Gotta be honest, I'm not sure if you can really find what you're after.

    Something engaging generally makes for a poor motorway cruiser, simply because it never relaxes to munch the miles properly. The Yeti is a great case in point - it's marginally more engaging in petrol form than a boring car, but wears thin after a couple of hours on the M-way. I rented one for a couple of days and although impressive it wasn't great at anything, just decent.

    I'd be looking at something with the longest wheelbase possible for best ride quality, the nicest seats, the best stereo. Top of my list would probably be a Volvo XC70. My other half was looking for similar, but didn't like the Ovlov as much and opted for a 2010 Subaru Outback instead, although economy/motorway refinement isn't her priority so a 30mpg 2.5 petrol was acceptable! Great cars, but not a good motorway cruiser.

    Then I'd take the remainder and buy something fun to use at the weekend - MX5, MR2, 106 GTI/Rallye,Clio 1*2 etc. Something utterly different to the big wafty cruiser. :)
     
  11. bagman

    bagman Minimodder

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    Lexus LS400 and save loads of money.
     
  12. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Those are awesome cars. Bulletproof reliability, excellent build quality and extremely comfortable.
     
  13. Valo

    Valo Minimodder

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    F30 3 series xdrive ticks all of your boxes other than 'not a BMW'

    Perhaps an A3/A4 quattro? Audi Q3 might be a viable option, just lacking in the 'fun' department

    Although, really, what you're after is a Subaru...
     
  14. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    A4/A6 Allroad?
     

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