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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Which Estate/MPV for Windsurfing and kids

    I need to start thinking about replacing my Volvo V50 which has been a great Windsurfing car but its getting old and also having now kids need something bigger so one day can take all family to the beach with their bikes and my windsurfing gear.

    MPV or large estate. Will be buying used around 10-15k budget for car under 50k miles

    Currently on shortlist:

    Ford S-Max & Mondeo estate
    Skoda "Superb" (although the name is hard to accept)
    Volvo V70
    VW Passat
    Merc E220 (if can afford)

    One thing I like about the V50 is the front passenger seat folds forwards nearly flat by unhooking 2 catches. Very quick an simple and can load all gear easily inside on the passenger seat.

    No idea if this fold flat front passeger is unique to Volvo or other brands have this as well.

    Curious to hear opinions on what people have and their experiences

    Not keen on vans and French cars

  2. #2
    Senior Member Keema Naan's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    The front passenger seat in both the VW Passat and Skoda Superb are a real pain. The do not fold particularly flat and it is difficult to get the headrests off even when you know where the secret place is to exert pressure with a small screwdriver to release them. I have sometimes wondered if it is just quicker to lob a roof rack on!

    Getting kids bikes and windsurf gear on will be ambitious in even the biggest estate car, sure it can be done with a rack for the towbar and roofbars but I must admit I have n't gone that way myself, it just starts to get to be too much logistically.

  3. #3
    Senior Member crossy5575's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    hi there,

    I used to have the passat estate and it was great - engineering was great and comfortable to drive and store kit in. Have been driving the Volvo XC90 for the past few years and it is much better at storing things and as a general surf wagon. depending on what you want! The Merc E class can be a bit of an old mas car and heavy so you need a bigger engine to get it going.

    Tried the Volvo estate, took it about 100 yards down the road and looked at my reflection in a shop window, realised i was mid 30's (at the time) accountant driving a beige volvo..... had to take it back and give myself a stern talking to....
    Currently on Simmer Blacktips, Simmer Frugal 77, Fanatic Stubby 88, JP xcite ride 120 and AHD Summerboard windsup.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossy5575 View Post
    hi there,



    Tried the Volvo estate, took it about 100 yards down the road and looked at my reflection in a shop window, realised i was mid 30's (at the time) accountant driving a beige volvo..... had to take it back and give myself a stern talking to....
    Well beige Volvo says it all.

    Thats what puts me off with the V70. Great inside but just don't like the image outside.

    XC60 is nice but I'm not a fan generally on SUV

    Luckily the V50 didn't have that bad image, or at least in higher trim versions and not beige.

    After the V50 I think Volvo decided to concentrate their design only on SUV's and forgot the rest.

  5. #5
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    I go through this every 2 years at company car renewal time. It is not easy as things change Year on year. For instance, the VW Passat rear seats fold the wrong way now meaning that even if you fold the front seat flat, the bases of the row behind flip forwards so get in the way. The Superb has those silly seats.

    Fold flat front seats are not unique to Volvo. They are good, but you often get more room by pushing the front seat fully forward then dropping the rear seat on top once both head rests are removed.

    Also look out for any car that boasts active head rests as some of these have wires in the meaning you cannot remove the buggers.

    I would suggest making the family and economy the high on your list as surely that is the main use of the car. Checking the boards fit, then putting them on the roof is I have found the easiest way. When you get to the beach, slap all the kit you are not using inside for security. Plenty of big estates fir the bill for that. Ones with roof rails seem to suit the loading of boards better as you can spread the cars further apart. And don’t be tempted by silly small engined big cars that rely on the turbo for any power. An example of this is the Kadjar. I had one as a hire car for two weeks and it was dreadful on fuel. Fine when empty but add any load such as a family and mileage dropped from a crap 35mpg down to 26mpg. The turbo lag made me want to scream. I may have been over senator the mileage having a 7 seat Prius at the time which I was regularly getting 60-100mpg round town and 55 on a run even with my lead foot.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    My head is saying Ford S-Max is the best solution. However I went into one a couple of weeks ago and was a bit disappointed as the interior just feels a bit cheap. Obviously the S-Max is more about practicality than lush interior. With estates though you get better MPG, better performance, better interiors and most are cheaper to buy. So before deciding settling on Smax I want to explore better estates

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    One thing I like about the SMax is the middle seat of the 2nd row seats folds down flat so wondering if you could fit sails and masts there. Still have the kids on the other sides, their bikes at the back and board on roof

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