"Car Supermarkets"/Multi-Brand dealers near the M6 between Liverpool and Gloucester??

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jonevejoneve Frets: 978
edited July 16 in Off Topic
Anyone aware of any? At the risk of going "Full Emp" and turning our new car hunt into a right old saga, it's getting legitimately critical (for our sanity more than anything else), that we chop in our X-Fail (which is going to cost us somewhere in the region of £1500 unless I can argue otherwise and be somehow compensated) and replace it with something that's more reliable. 

For the 4th time in 12 months, we had an engine management light come on and the car go into limp mode. Whatever the dealers are doing when they take the car in to be fixed, is clearly NOT working, and I no longer need this problem in my life. I lost a day's pay yesterday because of it along with the countless mornings/afternoons I've had to re-arrange around work to drop the car in to be fixed, and I'm not comfortable in the knowledge that it could happen again at any minute whilst my wife is in the car with our 18 month old and she become stranded. 

Anyway, long story short - we were going to replace with a similarly sized (or larger) SUV. Most of the ones we like are rather expensive, even second hand, so I've (with the help of my Father in law), persuaded the wife that a nice, 2nd hand (up to 3 or so years old) estate might be a practical compromise. 

We've short listed to the likes of the Leon ST, Golf Estate, Audi A4, Skoda Octavia and Superb and the VW Passat around the 15-20k price range with a petrol engine (auto or manual, not precious)...Mostly looking at the 1.4/1/5 litre engines that come with the 150bhp option in most of them.
I'd buy a Golf Estate R-Line tomorrow, but I don't think the fuel economy and insurance premiums will be favourable D 

I know they're all differing sizes, but this is why we want to see some (as many as we can) in the flesh to get a real world opinion on the size and style of them and most importantly the size of the boot space. 

We have a dog (small-is Springer) and a push chair, along with loads of other crap we tend to take with us when we go away or on holiday to the Lakes, so we need something that will accommodate most if not all of this stuff and give us a similar-sized boot to what we have now in the X-Trail (which is around 480 litres with seats up, so not huge). Anything bigger is a bonus, but we (aka my wife) is willing to compromise for a smaller car if it's something she likes, is comfortable in and will be fine for day to day as we can always invest in a roof rack which will still work out cheaper than buying a mini bus sized SUV (as nice as they all seem to be!) 

We are heading back from Liverpool next Monday, child and dog-free, thanks to the inlaws babysitting whilst we go and watch the Netball WC Final, so thought it might be a good opportunity to swing by some multi-brand garages or car supermarkets to get some real A-B comparisons on some or all of these cars before we make a final decision. 

Any help greatly appreciated (and any real-world feedback on the above models also greatly appreciated). 

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Comments

  • monofinmonofin Frets: 1101
    For car supermarkets there's Fords of Winsford close to the m6 (Jtm 18 or 19)

    Usually have a huge stock

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  • jonevejoneve Frets: 978
    monofin said:
    For car supermarkets there's Fords of Winsford close to the m6 (Jtm 18 or 19)

    Usually have a huge stock

    Thanks mate. Will take a look. 
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2636
    Motorpoint at Widnes and/or Oldbury wouldn't be too far off your route.  I bought our current jalopy from them 4.5 years ago on what I thought was a decent deal, 10-month old Peugeot 208 for £8k with 8000 miles on it, and balance of initial 3-year warranty.

    Which was a good thing as it turned out, because it developed an annoying squeak that required replacing of the front roll-bar assembly!

    They will try to get you to take their finance and extended warranty options, just say "no"  :3

    Did anyone bring the petits-fours?
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  • iseverynamegoneiseverynamegone Frets: 1512
    edited July 16
    Is it diesel? It’s not the DPF is it? 

    Given that you are looking for reliability and problems to be sorted if they arise on an upto  3 year old estate have a look at the Kia Optima with the 7 year warranty. Octavia is cheaper than Superb , boot is just as big you just lose some rear legroom. ( I’ve a Superb with the Golf R engine..I need loads of room behind me) 

    Fords Winsford was a good answer to the first question. 
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  • strtdvstrtdv Frets: 1498
    edited July 17
    I own a Golf estate (albeit in GTD form)
    I love it, but although the boot is huge the back seat legroom is no more than a normal Golf, so good enough but not luxurious legroom. The Passat does significantly better in this regard but Passat's are simply "fine" rather than "excellent" unless you go for the 240PS BiTurbo 4WD version.

    R-Line is simply a trim level so you can get it in whatever engine suits your needs.

    Skoda Superb is probably the most useful estate money can buy. They sadly don't have the virtual dash that you get on higher spec VWs but in every other respect are excellent: the seats are comfy, rear legroom is huge, the boot is huge, lots of clever storage space, and umbrellas obviously.

    £15-20k will get you a very nicely specced one. 
    Personally that's what I'd buy (in the newer 1.5 form rather than the older 1.4/1.6) (well, personally I'd get a diesel, but that's just me).

    Edit; I'd probably get the manual unless the newer 1.5 petrol engine pairs with the new 7 speed wet clutch rather than the older 6 speed one or 7 speed dry clutch. The older 6 speed one is mechanically fine but the ratios are irritating and it holds the gears for too long, and the dry clutches are reported to wear fairly quickly. The new 7 speed wet clutch DSG is excellent though
    Robot Lords of Tokyo, SMILE TASTE KITTENS!
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 3906
    The car supermarket in Swindon is big - only 40-odd minutes from Glos 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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