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Is there a car that meets my obscure criteria?


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#1 RockyV

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

OK, looking for a car that is:

- medium sized
- European
- Fits 3 kids along the back (2 in car seats)
- Diesel
- Manual Transmission
- Boot space enough for pram or other kid related paraphernalia.

There are more diesels now available in Aus but most are auto transmission. As we have kids who will eventually learn to drive in this car, I want to have a manual.

DH prefers diesels for fuel efficiency / eco reasons.

We currently have a VW Jetta which is auto, and I don't love it. There is a lag before take off and it seems to stall a bit (WTF?). For the price tag I don't think it is worth it.

Anyone have any suggestions?

#2 VeritasVinum

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:30 PM

Apart from manual (although you can do manual mode with paddle flaps) is the Citroen C4 grand Picasso.



#3 katrina24

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

i30 wagon.  We have one and it's great.  It's just won another NRMA award this year I think.  I have 2 in seats. Can't fit a third seat with our arrangement but a small to medium sized adult can sit between the seats and an infa booster cushion fits between the seats as well.  The boot space is great as it's a wagon.  We have the diesel manual and it's fuel efficiency is great. It's not too noisy either (I was worried about this with diesel).  I'm pretty sure it's European designed.

Edited by katrina24, 21 January 2013 - 08:32 PM.


#4 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

Renault Koleos?

#5 The Old Feral

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

I have a Volvo V50 which meets all your criteria.... mine is auto but manual is an option.

Brilliant car, I love it.

The lag on taking off is pretty standard for a diesel think, though DH has had diesel Mercedes through work which do it less than mine.

#6 debut dad

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

I know you don't like your Jetta, but have you considered the VW Golf Wagon?

It has 2 diesel variants (a 1.6 TDI and a 2.0 TDI)

Mid-sized, Euro and big boot for your pram(s) and other stuff.

Good luck with the hunt!

#7 dadwasathome

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

Technically the DSG transmissions in VAG cars are a twin clutch automated manual. Manuals are a real dying breed - perhaps a Skoda (which I have and happily recommend) but the width for 3 seats and a child will be the problem, along with manual

Edited by dadathome, 21 January 2013 - 08:50 PM.


#8 Gumbette

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

A Volvo XC60? Not sure if it comes in a manual though.

#9 Tea-snob

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

Hi.

Have you thought about a Ford Mondeo? They do a diesel model, have a huge boot, have European styling and they're made overseas.

If you weren't after something European, I would recommend the Ford G6 eco boost. It's their new four cylinder engine, as much grunt as the 6 cylinder but much more environmentally friendly ( can you tell we just bought a new car?! All the research is still fresh in my head!!) the boot is massive, seriously I could sleep in there!!

I think you might have trouble finding all of that in a manual, but others might be able to help!

Good luck!

#10 RockyV

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for all those suggestions.

We have a Volvo XC90 (also diesel) and I don't find it has the same lag despite being a much bigger car. Perhaps I just expect it to be sluggish because it is like a truck whereas I expect the VW to be zippy!!

I'm reluctant to give another VW a go.. so not keen on the Golf.

Surely diesel manuals exist other than in buses and outback 4wds?!

I'll do some research on the ones named.

#11 vanessa71

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:43 PM

Are you looking to buy new? If you are, can't you just order a manual? I did when I ordered my car, but that was 7 years ago. My car fits your criteria except for the fact that it's not diesel, but diesel is definitely available, I have a BMW 320i.

#12 liveworkplay

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

Why does it have to be European?

Mazda 6 fits all your criteria except that.

#13 FiveAus

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

I thought the i30 was Korean, not European. I had one for a week when my X-trail was being repaired and I thought the only bigger piece of sh*t I'd driven was a Kia. But the one I had was a hatch, not a wagon, so the wagon might be better.

Does the Opel Astra meet your criteria?

#14 aphraell

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

Land rover evoque
Audi Q3
Skoda Octavia



#15 katrina24

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

The i30 is Korean but with 'European styling' whatever that means.  Did you drive the diesel manual? I much prefer it to the auto.

#16 RockyV

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

European is the preference just because of safety, quality made, and also because our other car is and we switch between the two and it sounds very lazy but switching indicator sides each time you get in the car is a PITA.

That being said, they are heftier price tags, and expensive to service. It will be bought on a business which helps but still doesn't mean we can spend thousands & thousands (audi and bmw might be getting too pricey?).

I drove a Mazda 6 a few years ago and loved it but at the time we were upgrading there was no diesel available. If I can't find something that fits all the criteria, then I would happily drive one of them again.

Not sure about special order manuals... I can always ask.

I haven't heard of some of the cars listed so I'll do some more research, thanks again!

#17 dadwasathome

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

QUOTE (vanessa71 @ 21/01/2013, 09:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you looking to buy new? If you are, can't you just order a manual?


A number of makes are starting to simply not offer manuals any longer - IIRC you can only get manual 3-series (some models) these days in BMW. All others are various autos.

Mondeo is one I hadn't thought of though - I'm pretty sure we get Belgian rather than Thai built vehicles here.

And your request for manula is interesting - the view in the industry is that the lack of an auto is the reason why Mazda 6 and Subaru diesels haven't sold well to date. Skoda had a similar issue until around 18 months ago.

Edited by dadathome, 21 January 2013 - 08:56 PM.


#18 MrsLexiK

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

QUOTE (vanessa71 @ 21/01/2013, 09:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you looking to buy new? If you are, can't you just order a manual? I did when I ordered my car, but that was 7 years ago. My car fits your criteria except for the fact that it's not diesel, but diesel is definitely available, I have a BMW 320i.


No, if only it was this easy.
I also would look at the Mazda 6 or the Mondeo. I don't think (nor does my DH who is mechanic and has worked for dealerships and workshops) that euro = safer and better quality.

Edited by MrsLexiK, 21 January 2013 - 09:06 PM.


#19 FiveAus

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:30 PM

QUOTE (katrina24 @ 21/01/2013, 09:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The i30 is Korean but with 'European styling' whatever that means.  Did you drive the diesel manual? I much prefer it to the auto.


It was an auto, but it wasn't so much the way it drove, it was the crappy build quality. Korean car makers are fantastic at loading their vehicles with cup holders and sunglasses clips, and all manner of cheap electronic gizmos, but they sure don't have a nice solid "thunk" when you shut the door, and the cheap fittings and economy paint job don't inspire confidence that this car will hold a decent resale value. It was definitely not on par with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf or other European hatches. Or the Japanese ones.

#20 vanessa71

Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:57 AM

The next car I wanto to get is a VW CC, which would also fit your criteria, but I am reading that it is an 'automated manual' - is that all that is going to be available to me now?  sad.gif

#21 sammyv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:14 AM

What about an Audi A3 or A4 wagon

#22 Gumbette

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:21 AM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 21/01/2013, 10:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was an auto, but it wasn't so much the way it drove, it was the crappy build quality. Korean car makers are fantastic at loading their vehicles with cup holders and sunglasses clips, and all manner of cheap electronic gizmos, but they sure don't have a nice solid "thunk" when you shut the door, and the cheap fittings and economy paint job don't inspire confidence that this car will hold a decent resale value. It was definitely not on par with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf or other European hatches. Or the Japanese ones.

biggrin.gif Must say I love the "thunk".

#23 mrs

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:23 AM

I have a Skoda yeti auto diesel with 2 car seats in back, haven't tried a 3rd person in middle yet.  They have the same engine as the Volkswagon Tiguan.

Edited by mrs, 22 January 2013 - 07:24 AM.


#24 2bundles

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:55 AM

Get VW to change the idle on your car.  That will stop the stall and help with the lag.

I have a diesel golf. I don't notice the lag, but the Jetta is not made in the German factory.

Do people still get manual licences?  Will they in 10yrs time?  Will you still have the car then?  

I like the flat back seat in the golf. Much better for car seats and getting 3 seats across.

#25 dadwasathome

Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:01 AM

QUOTE (vanessa71 @ 22/01/2013, 07:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The next car I wanto to get is a VW CC, which would also fit your criteria, but I am reading that it is an 'automated manual' - is that all that is going to be available to me now?  sad.gif

No manual Vanessa - DSG - dual clutch automated manual, although you can get steering wheel "paddles" to shift gear. Same issue here with the alltrack we're looking at.




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