Family/Tow cars under 5k
VOLVO V70 T5
.. a high miler but these things are so well built and so reliable
and with a full main dealer history you won't go far wrong.
acres of lovely power from the 2.3 V5 turbo... you'll die laughing
first time you use it. Great for towing but its not involving
or a sports car in any sense of the word so dont expect a drive
like 5 series touring. In fact they are almost truck-like in
feel, ride is quite hard and crude and you slosh around in heavyweight
cumbersome fashion, understeering like crazy with pretty poor
mid corner grip from the P9000's. Definitely a cruiseomatic,
long distance car and just great for that purpose... awesome
on the motorway and has every toy you could ever wish for incl.
great OEM stereo.
just mammoth, seats fold flat and the square shape means this
car will carry some large things that other estates wouldn't.
One of the
few cars I've ever owned that makes me sit back, relax and drive
slower and also gets me to the destination less tired than others.
The perfect remedy when facing a 3.5 hr. drive back home in
rush hour from a day at Cadwell. Galactic apetite for front
tyres so ownership of your own chain of tyre fitters a must
.... on that note, the OEM Pirellis are poor for grip, noise
and wear so consider a move to say eagle F1's or pilot cups.
MITSUBISHI Galant V6 Sport
looking car, acres of space, lovely interior and well screwed
together, beautiful smooth v6 powerplant with an unobtrusive
auto box and optional tiptronic mode. Great for towing, in fact
better in some ways that the T5 because its NA so you feel more
directly in control of the power.
the handling though. Below average clumsy chassis, bizarre combination
of ludicrously soft springs mated to some real harsh bump damping
and regular bottoming out on full droop over the slightest of
crests or high bumps. In its favour, it feels very light and
ignoring the clumsy feel is one of the easiest cars to drive
that ive ever sampled. The wife adored its effortlessness around
then exasperating, uncomfortable, like the primera uncertain
of what it was supposed to be, poor body control, falls to pieces
over the rough stuff and on account of the soft springs awful
forward pitching / dive everytime you so much as breathe on
the brake pedal. Road noise on the Mway was unacceptable as
well. Shame because the auto box worked well, the engine was
divine, a great place to sit and for my money its still one
of the best looking estates ever produced.
eibach springs are reputed to give better body control and keep
the car in check (they did a similar thing for my odl evo6)
and 15" rims will definitely help the car massively as
the 17"s on the sport are just plain nasty but to be honest
i wasn't happy about spending more money on the car and embarking
on a path to fettle and resolve the cars handling issues when
that path might never have actually ended. Cars should feel
right from the shelf, from the word go. Bought for 4.8k, now
sold for 4.9k !
NISSAN PRIMERA 2.0 GT
car, extremely good chassis and suspension and impreza levels
of point to point stability. Show it a country lane and it will
cover ground very rapidly with serious poise and surefootedness.
though for me the primera became quite tiresome as a family,
cruising and tow car. Gearchange is long, rubbery and vague,
clutch is heavy, zero power low down and not that much up top
either. Brakes need a serious amount of force and after a while
you realise that whilst the body control is very very good it's
sadly neither soft enough to be comfortable yet not stiff and
sorted enough to be truly involving. Certainly, on 17"
rims it doesn't work IMO. Doesn't tow very well either and needs
its nuts revved. Hard work in traffic and when you have the
family on board and you're tired the stiff ride starts to jar.
lot of car for 4.5k .... huge boot, well specced, very well
put together and potentially massively reliable and good for
200k miles. This one was like brand new when i got it and with
43k miles it drove like new as well. A detectable level of fun,
good across country and it can do the odd trackday if you're
old MERCEDES 190 2.3 Cosworth
of inertia, brakes made from banana cheesecake. Lovely sounding
engine and it revs nicely too, but slow compared to todays standards
and you need to plan 4 days in advance whenever the car needs
to come to a rest. Timing chain is a constant source of anxiety
as well... you'll hear it gnashing and clicking even in your