Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


Lizard1977

1880 posts

Uber Geek

ID Verified

#311757 12-Feb-2024 11:55
Send private message quote this post

It's time for me to change cars.  My trusty Subaru Legacy wagon has developed a number of faults which are going to be too costly to justify (repair the torque converter, replace the steering rack, do the cambelt - around $5k all up) given it's age and current value.  It's 13 years old and has done just under 200k, so I'm aware that it's likely to start developing other faults as time wears on.  Plus, I now have a need to transport my partner and our combined four kids more often, so having something with six+ seats would be very handy - though it won't be an everyday thing, so I'm also weighing up whether six+ seats is a must-have or simply a nice-to-have.

 

So I've started looking around to see what is available.  I'm not terribly keen on SUVs (don't want a big, heavy, thirsty car), but there don't seem to be many options that aren't SUVs.  There are the dreaded "vans", which are a straight-up "nope" from me, and then the proto-vans - Mazda Premacy, Honda Odyssey, etc - which seem to blur the line between SUV/van.  I'm after something which drives like a car, isn't too large, but is still able to seat six people without feeling cramped.

 

Some additional info - kids range from 6 to 16, so we have a couple in booster seats for another couple of years, and some who will "age-out" of needing to be driven all the time, in a couple of years.  My budget is around $20-25k max.

 

I guess I'm looking for suggestions of cars to look at.  I've done some searching on Trademe, have taken a couple for a test-drive, but what I've seen and experienced so far hasn't exactly filled me with excitement.  I drove a Mitsubishi Outlander which has 7 seats.  It was fine, but it felt quite bulky on the road (especially compared to my Legacy wagon).  I drove a Volkswagen Tiguan which was 7 seats too, but felt a lot less imposing to drive.  It handled very nicely and had a nice interior.  But it was also a 2020 model and priced around $15-20k more than the same age Outlander (but, admittedly, with better specs and toys).  I quite liked the Tiguan, but it's out of my price range.  I drove a Honda Odyssey which was mediocre.  Plenty of space in the cabin for the kids, and with convenient options for seating.  But it felt more like a van, and pretty dreary to drive.  While this isn't my number one criteria, I do much prefer a car that isn't a depressing place to be.  I'm not doing massive commutes, but if I'm going to be behind the wheel I'd like to feel comfortable and enjoy the experience.  I do admit, however, that this is a very subjective criteria.

 

I found what seemed like a pretty good compromise - Subaru Exiga.  It has six seats, but is about the same size as my existing wagon.  On paper, and in photos, it looks similar and should handle similar.  But the 2012 model I drove last weekend was terrible to drive, horrendously uncomfortable, and a very "bleh" driving experience.  Which was surprising, given close it is to my current Legacy.

 

If I drop the six-seater requirement, then another wagon would be my preference - something with good boot space, capacity to tow the occasional trailer, and something that is enjoyable to drive.  But it seems like finding a wagon these days is getting harder, with SUVs tending to dominate the space.  Which brings me back to looking at six+ seaters.

 

So I'm guessing I'm looking for suggestions of cars to go and look at.  Other than the Outlander and the Exiga, are there any good six+ seaters which aren't "vans"?


View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2 | 3
CokemonZ
960 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #3194280 12-Feb-2024 12:01
Send private message quote this post

I am the same (4 kids - very similar ages) and we went for a Kia Carnival - similar to an Odyssey.

 

Loads of room, fold down rear seats and removable centre seats for flexible seating arrangements. All the SUV's are significantly smaller inside for similar external physical dimensions.

 

Honestly mate - driving experience is not going to be great in any vehicle in the size you're looking for, so if that's an important criteria you're going to compromise on something else.


 
 
 

Trade NZ and US shares and funds with Sharesies (affiliate link).
rb99
3114 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #3194288 12-Feb-2024 12:15
Send private message quote this post

Don't know which Odyssey you drove, but there seems to be the standard, or the Absolute with a bit more power, or the Hybrid. Might be a thought.





“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” -John Kenneth Galbraith

 

rb99


Lizard1977

1880 posts

Uber Geek

ID Verified

  #3194289 12-Feb-2024 12:18
Send private message quote this post

rb99:

 

Don't know which Odyssey you drove, but there seems to be the standard, or the Absolute with a bit more power, or the Hybrid. Might be a thought.

 

 

It was the Absolute.




xpd

xpd
aka Fast Raccoon !
13182 posts

Uber Geek

Retired Mod
ID Verified
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #3194293 12-Feb-2024 12:28
Send private message quote this post

If 6 people is the requirement, then avoid most of the "proto-vans" as you call them. While they are a 7 seater, you'll find most are 5 seater with the extra two seats just being "pop up" ones in the boot - so you lose 90% of boot space.

 

We have a 2010 Mazda Premacy with this setup, and works well for us but we only have two kids and the dog. The two pop ups are extremely restrictive for leg room, so only good for short trips. Love it otherwise, been a great vehicle over the time we've had it and msot likely be passing it onto our eldest once she gets her license (needs the space for her music stuff).

 

Mazda MPVs are larger and may have decent 7 seats depending on model, but they are getting on in age now and don't think Mazda make them anymore.

 

 





       Gavin / xpd / FastRaccoon / Geek of Coastguard New Zealand

 

                      LinkTree -   kiwiblast.co.nz - Lego and more

 

       Support Kiwi music!   The People   Black Smoke Trigger   Like A Storm   Devilskin

 

                                            NZ GEEKS Discord______________________________

 

 


cddt
745 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #3194303 12-Feb-2024 12:50
Send private message quote this post

We fit fine in an Outlander with 3 kids, not sure I'd do it with 4 though as you will lose about 40% of the boot space by popping up one seat. And that popup seat is fit only for very, very short people, and you need to climb through the boot to get in (given 3 car seats in the middle row). 


BlakJak
1158 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  #3194337 12-Feb-2024 14:27
Send private message quote this post

6 months ago I bought a 2015 Toyota Prius V (Prius Alpha) - these come in either a 5-seater standard S/W or a 7-seater configuration. The 7-seater was usually a couple of grand more than the 5-seater. I spent $20K for the five-seater with 100,000kms on the clock near enough.

 

Here's a 2012 one on Trademe, showing the 7-seat configuration.
https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/cars/toyota/prius/listing/4560674722

 

I was replacing a 2001 Toyota Gaia 7-seater. As xpd notes you can sacrifice a lot of boot space with a third row, so consider carefully your luggage needs; the Gaia had similar boot-space proportions to the above Prius with the back row up, but with the option to split the back row and only have one side up, you get a decent compromise for storage volume and the ability to seat 6 (2-3-1) instead of 7 (2-3-2).

 

Performance wise I find the Prius Alpha's 1800cc hybrid drivetrain to be fairly similar to the classic 2L platform of the Gaia it replaced.  But it's a far more comfortable drive.
And the s/w configuration of the Prius is not as ugly as the traditional lift-back shape.

 

 

 

I had heard good things about the Odyssey so it's interesting to hear your report of the driving experience.





No signature to see here, move along...

BlakJak
1158 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  #3194342 12-Feb-2024 14:30
Send private message quote this post

Additional Datapoint: Towbar addition to the Prius is doable. But the smaller hybrids (like the Corolla Fielder) don't enable it. That was another reason I selected the Prius... i'll add a towbar at some stage.  (Also I am generally a Toyota fan, almost every car i've had has been Toyota, so I knew what I wanted pretty quickly, esp once i'd taken one for a test drive.)





No signature to see here, move along...



blackjack17
1638 posts

Uber Geek


  #3194390 12-Feb-2024 16:53
Send private message quote this post

BlakJak:

 

6 months ago I bought a 2015 Toyota Prius V (Prius Alpha) - these come in either a 5-seater standard S/W or a 7-seater configuration. The 7-seater was usually a couple of grand more than the 5-seater. I spent $20K for the five-seater with 100,000kms on the clock near enough.

 

Here's a 2012 one on Trademe, showing the 7-seat configuration.
https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/cars/toyota/prius/listing/4560674722

 

 

 

 

Would love that in a AWD.

 

I'm in the same boat as the OP with a legacy that has done a bit more than theirs.

 

I am also considering the exgia, I have a co-worker that raves about it, but there aren't many around.





gzt

gzt
15538 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #3194391 12-Feb-2024 17:06
Send private message quote this post

Anyone going from a Legacy to a Prius Alpha is going to be disappointed in the power dept. I say that, as a very happy five seat Alpha driver. Add some holiday junk and a couple of extra people and you feel it a little more. Don't forget to press the 'Power' mode button before your test drive.

duckDecoy
806 posts

Ultimate Geek

Subscriber

  #3194434 12-Feb-2024 20:49
Send private message quote this post

My friend went to a Toyota Alphard (aka Vellfire I think)    He really liked it, quite a flexible seating design, and space for days.

 

What I don't know is how van like a drive you would consider it.


rp1790
682 posts

Ultimate Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #3194466 13-Feb-2024 07:33
Send private message quote this post

I have one of these as a wee campervan and they drive just like a car, very smooth, quiet and refined, don't wallow around corners at all.  Just lacking in power, I have the 2.4ltr version though.


Handle9
9926 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #3194470 13-Feb-2024 07:40
Send private message quote this post

duckDecoy:

 

My friend went to a Toyota Alphard (aka Vellfire I think)    He really liked it, quite a flexible seating design, and space for days.

 

What I don't know is how van like a drive you would consider it.

 

 

I think @geektastic had an Alphard for a while.


CokemonZ
960 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #3194471 13-Feb-2024 07:44
Send private message quote this post

We looked at an alphard, and really liked it. Only issue was a much smaller bootspace than the kia. Otherwise I think it would have been the choice.

That being said - don't recall the driving experience.

Geektastic
17760 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #3194496 13-Feb-2024 08:40
Send private message quote this post

I did have an Alphard Hybrid for several years. It was really a good vehicle. I used it to travel with clients from overseas on photo tours.

After three or four years, I started having issues with the 12V battery going flat and the a/c compressor failed. The cost of replacing the latter was quite significant iirc as at the time Alphards were less common than now and the compressor was a special order from Japan etc. so we used it as a trade in on a new vehicle.





Lizard1977

1880 posts

Uber Geek

ID Verified

  #3194558 13-Feb-2024 10:43
Send private message quote this post

Thanks for those insights.

 

The suggestion of the Prius V is interesting.  I hadn't realised until fairly recently that there was a 7-seater model.  But I've instinctively worried that an older second-hand hybrid is likely to be a bad prospect on account of ageing batteries.  How does this pan out in reality?  For instance, I would imagine that at around 8-10 years the batteries will lose some of their capacity and range, and the benefits of the hybrid would diminish - ultimately ending up as dead-weight that actually worsens fuel economy.  Or am I completely wrong.

 

I've seen a couple of Toyota Fielder hybrid wagons, and they looked like they might be worth a drive.  But a towbar is something that is close to essential for me (within my circle I'm the only one with a towbar, so if we ever need to shift something large I'm the one who can get a trailer).  Again, instinctively, I felt that most smaller hybrids (in the 1.5-1.8L band) wouldn't cope well with a towing load.  Not talking a massive boat or race car here, more a load of waste to take to landfill or a couple of couches and a fridge that a mate needs shifting.  It sounds like something like the Toyota Fielder hybrid would struggle to cope with a towbar?


 1 | 2 | 3
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic





News and reviews »

Synology Introduces BeeStation
Posted 23-Feb-2024 14:14


New One UI 6.1 Update Brings Galaxy AI to More Galaxy Devices
Posted 23-Feb-2024 10:50


Amazon Echo Hub Available in New Zealand
Posted 23-Feb-2024 10:40


InternetNZ Releases Internet Insights 2023
Posted 20-Feb-2024 10:31


Seagate Adds 24TB IronWolf Pro Hard Drives for Multi-user Commercial and Enterprise RAID Storage Solutions
Posted 19-Feb-2024 16:54


Seagate Skyhawk AI 24TB Elevates Edge Security Capacity and Performance
Posted 9-Feb-2024 17:18


GoPro Releases Quik Desktop App for macOS and Introduces Premium+ Subscription Tier
Posted 9-Feb-2024 17:14


Ring Introduces New Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro
Posted 9-Feb-2024 16:51


Galaxy AI Transforms the new Galaxy S24 Series
Posted 18-Jan-2024 07:00


D-Link launches AI-Powered Aquila Pro M30 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Systems
Posted 17-Jan-2024 20:02


Newest LG 4K Lifestyle Projector Doubles as Art Objet
Posted 9-Jan-2024 15:50


More LG Smart TV Owners Set To Enjoy the Latest webOS Upgrade
Posted 9-Jan-2024 15:45


Panasonic Announces the Z95A and Z93A With Fire TV Built In
Posted 9-Jan-2024 15:30


Amazon Echo Pop Review
Posted 8-Jan-2024 14:22


Samsung Tab S9 FE Review
Posted 17-Dec-2023 08:26









Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.







GoodSync is the easiest file sync and backup for Windows and Mac