Small family estate. it's like wearing slacks.

Piscauk

Well-known Member
So, is that special time in every man's life he is looking at a small family estate. Thinking of a fabia estate at moment, economical and reliable enough, plus compact enough for wife to learn to drive in. Got a Mark VI polo at the moment, so needs to be bigger than that whilst still low insurance group. Looking at up to around £5k or so, unless there is some unbeatable deal on nearly new.

Am in thinking in the right regard for a different car, is there other models I should consider? Thought about 307SW, maybe Focus estate but not so keen on those just from scanning through
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
How small is small? The Focus and Golf would generally be considered the next size up from the Fabia, they're almost as long as the Octavia (which is a lengthened previous generation golf chassis).

Also, are you specifically after an estate? There are plenty of hatchbacks that size if you only need the space and not the flat load floor and plenty of small MPVs that'll give you both.
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
In the last few years I've lived with (for varying degrees of time) a Mk5 Golf 5-door, a Fabia estate and a 307SW.

The 307SW was the biggest and most practical inside, a good drive, plenty of storage space, but horrendously unreliable and felt very cheap.

The Golf (Mk5 GT Sport) was the nicest drive, best quality and had a decent sized boot for a car of its size, but by far the smallest in this company. Bigger than a Polo for sure, but a moderate hatchback boot, not an estate. It wasn't particularly reliable and the interior is dull.

The Fabia was somewhere between the two in build and quality stakes, had an impressive sized boot for it's overall size, but I found it extremely uncomfortable to drive. That's a personal thing though and the model I had only had basic seats, which are to be avoided IMO. Otherwise, decent enough.

If it were my money, I'd avoid all of these cars, not one of them I'd pay out of my own pocket for (mine were all company cars).

The Focus estate would be a much better option, IMO. It's hardly a good looking car, it won't win beauty awards, but there is a reason they are so common.
 

Piscauk

Well-known Member
I drove an 08 Focus hatch for a month or so in 2008 and found it a very assured ride. Not exciting but handling was responsive, felt a well put together car. Are the Ford TDCI engines any good? I'd be looking at those or a 1.6 petrol, although the 1.0 does look intriguing but new is likely too rich for my lemonade money :)
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
The TDCi engines are very good. Not as refined or as ultra-economical as some of the competition, but still very good. Very 'Ford' - solid, if unspectacular.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
If you're going for a tdci engine, go for as high a power as you can get.
The wife's Fiesta 1.6 tdci was 86bhp, which should be more than enough for a Fiesta.
In reality, it was a breathless slug.
I believe the higher output engines have a different turbo which alleviates the breathlessness.
 
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paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
FZR400RRSP said:
If you're going for a tdci engine, go for as high a power as you can get.
The wife's Fiesta 1.6 tdci was 86bhp, which should be more than enough for a Fiesta.
In reality, it was a breathless slug.
I believe the higher output engines have a different turbo which alleviates the breathlessness.
Agreed , watch out for the 1.8 8 valve , woeful :(
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Volvo V50 D2 or D3 mate. Based on the Focus floor pan, but better engines and a much classier feel (IMHO)

Now replaced by the V40, so cheap as chips at the moment. Virtually all have leather and all have climate and excellent driving dynamics.

Not huge inside, but as big as a Focus estate and bigger than a 308.
 

Piscauk

Well-known Member
Had an S40 which I in no way loved, bit it was a solid car for sure. Drove the old V40 a lot, found it very thirsty and the boot wasnt the best use of the space available. I'll look at them though, they do feel more premium
 

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