The 10 best used family haulers for 2022 Car News


Needing to hang around more people shouldn’t stop you from getting a good deal

Why leave the kids, pets, or even the kitchen sink at home? There are some very reliable and attractive low-cost buses on sale – and our picks prove that you don’t need to sacrifice pace, balance or curb appeal when it comes to choosing your next cart. of shopping.

Volvo XC90, 2002-2014

£800 to £22,000: The car that launched 1000 imitations. With its smart, fold-down seats, elevated seating position and flattering looks, the Volvo XC90 was to minivans what the asteroid was to dinosaurs. Its diesels aren’t the smoothest, and the automatic gearbox desperately needs torque lock to avoid constant downshifts, but few can argue with how the XC90 swallows family life. Even Jeremy Clarkson loves it: he’s owned several.

One we found: 2013 Volvo XC90 2.4 D5 R-Design, 50,000 miles, £18,950

Volkswagen Golf Estate, 2004-2010

£1,500 to £8,000: Loved by everyone from parent-teachers to poor aristocrats, the Golf transcends lists like these: it’s so ubiquitous it’s the cliché that keeps on giving. Used Mk4 hatches were popular when my friends and I were in our youth, but those in the know dreamed of an estate Mk5. Launched in the wake of the all-conquering Ford Focus, the Mk5 was the moment Volkswagen realized it couldn’t just make a reliable car (remember the ad?): it had to drive well. This was at a time when the diesel was not completely reviled, so the 2.0 TDI was the engine of choice. The 1.9 diesel was a bit rougher. Most Golfs of this vintage were and remain quite reliable, but keep an eye out for the alloy wheels as they can suffer from corrosion.

One we found: 2008 VW Golf 2.0 TDi Sportline, 76,000 miles, £4,690

Ford Focus Estate, 1998-2004

£900 to £2,000: Sales have dropped like a stone recently, but the original Mk1 Focus will forever hold a special place in Autocar’s heart, primarily because it makes daily family driving rewarding. The station wagon lacks the distinctive “New Edge” rear styling of the hatch, but gains a healthy 520 liters of boot space. Used ones are mostly super-high-milers, but the intruder appears with less than 100k on the clock. They are generally quite reliable and rust resistant.

One we found: 2002 Ford Focus 1.6 LX, 103,000 miles, £1,995

Renault Avantime, 2001-2003

£3,000 to £6,000: The world’s only three-door MPV – and it’s likely to remain so, given the trend in MPV sales. State-of-the-art production techniques (Renault used high-pressure water jets to cut through the plastic shell) and true standout styling weren’t enough to save the Avantime. If you ever sit in one, look at the parallel double-opening door hinges. The way they allow extremely long doors to cantilever out into a tight space is a thing of beauty.

One we found: 2003 Renault Avantime 2.0, 65,000 miles, £5,250

Volkswagen Passat W8, 2001-2004

£3,500 to £6,000: Possibly one of the ultimate Q cars. Since 1978, the Passat had been synonymous with the commuter, but the 2001 W8 and its 266-hp 4.0-liter eight-cylinder quickly solved the problem. Car watchers take note: model-specific wheels, a tiny W8 badge and quad exhausts are the visual clues to spot one. Extremely rare, the W8 engine only appeared on the Passat and even this model was only marketed for three years.

One we found: 2002 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion, 93,000 miles, £5,595

Mercedes-Benz 300 TE, 1985-1995

£3,500 to £12,000: From when Mercs were carved from granite. The 300 TE isn’t the most powerful family hauler on our list (180 hp and 188 lb-ft from its 3.0-liter inline-six), but for understated coolness, few come close. We had one when I was growing up, with rear-facing trunk seats (handy for six-year-olds to blow raspberries in following traffic) and it’s the car my dad has kept the longest – well over 120,000 miles by the time he decided to get rid of it.

One we found: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300 TE, 183,000 miles, £5,000

Volvo 850 T5, 1993-1997

£5,000 to £25,000: There’s a great video of the moment the Volvo 850 Estate touring car was unveiled: the looks on rival drivers’ faces alone are enough to land it on this list. The racer has a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol with a six-speed sequential gearbox, but the road cars have 222-hp five-cylinder turbo engines. Check the front tires, because even with a torque limiter in first gear, you’ll be lucky to get 10,000 miles out of a set. The yellow T5-Rs with manual gearbox are the most popular.

One we found: 1997 Volvo 850 T5, 102,000 miles, £16,400

Ford LTD Country Squire, 1979-1991

£8,000 to £12,000: The Country Squire was sold over four decades, but it’s the 1979-1991 edition that interests us. Why ? Chevy Chase. The car and the man are indelibly linked in a melting pot of 80s nostalgia. The rhythm will not be sustained. Despite a 5.0-liter V8, it could only muster 145bhp, but given the body roll evident in the movies, that’s probably not a bad thing. Americana is coming to…

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This notice was published: 2022-06-01 23:01:24

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