My emasculation continues apace

Posted: 09/11/2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

G’day to you all dear readers,

as you know my last post was a bit of a rambler well this one has pulled in some material written in the same sessions but I thought would be more relevant as an individual post.

So anyway, since the arrival of boy number two I have come to realise that our purchase of a sensible family estate (station wagon) car (namely my beloved Audi) after the birth of our first son did not take into account that having a second child would render the backseat into little more than a repository for two car seats with a miniscule gap in between them and what once seemed a cavernous boot space is now almost entirely filled with the double buggy.

It also means that should we want to go anywhere with more than just the four core members of the family it means taking two cars. I know a lot of people would say that’s just tough for anyone else but our social life has been battered as it is by our little bundles of mayhem and disease. We love taking our friends like The Kiwi with us even if it’s just for some shopping and some lunch and this is now difficult.

There is also the problem when friends and family visit from overseas, we managed to insure my father on one of the cars while they were here but being from the other side of the world we fairly regularly have visitors, although whether they come to see us or the kids is debatable.

We also need to take into consideration that for most of the time there is no need for us to have two cars, certainly while Mrs Bunny Chow is working her car spends 99% of its time depreciating on the driveway whilst racking up the insurance, tax, evaporated fuel and maintenance/MOT bills for very little return in use.

Funny how the most manly thing you can do i.e. producing progeny can go such a long way to removing any vestige of testosterone you possess from changing nappies and singing nursery rhymes to having dull but practical cars.

I think this is where you can see the return to the title coming into this post, I have realised that in order to overcome these irritating dilemma’s that as soon as Mrs Bunny Chow returns to work from maternity leave both cars have to go and we will have to use them to fund something even more sensible and boring than a japanese hatchback and german estate. Whisper it horror of all horrors maybe even an MPV.

I’ve begun doing a little research into the matter and there are a huge number of 7 seaters on the market although I am able to disable most of them straight off the bat. As always there will be no French cars on my driveway so that rules out the Renault Espace and Citroen Mad Spaniard. I don’t even know or care if Peugeot make such a thing as I’m not buying one.

We can also rule out General Motors products so the Vauxhall Zafira is out as is any Chevrolet that might fit the 7 seat bill.

Toyota would normally be my first port of call for a sensible, reliable, well made, practical car but their local dealer are incredibly useless to the point where they tried to persuade us against test driving a car last time we visited as it was too expensive, despite not having asked our budget. Their parts department also couldn’t be bothered to reply to my requests for a rear windscreen wiper until I took some leave to visit them. I’d have gone elsewhere but no one makes a pattern part rear wiper for an 2002 Corolla. Besides, the Verso is heinous and I’m terrified of the running costs on the Land Cruiser which seem to be the only options on the regular UK market.

I’m intrigued by the Koreans and would appreciate the thoughts of anyone who has experience with either Hyundai or Kia, they don’t appear to be especially cheap but I believe their reliability is good now and their warranties are very attractive with a three-year old Kia potentially still having four years to run on theirs. Their newer 4×4’s are also rather handsome.

Mrs Bunny Chow has said a point-blank no to a Defender which to be honest with I’m not overly gutted by as it would be a pig to drive in traffic and painful on the motorway which is 99% of what I do anyway. The Discovery is attractive but expensive and there isn’t much boot with the rear seats in place, I also have concerns about their reliability and running costs.

Nissan make several handsome 7 seater 4×4’s that seem to fit the bill including the Pathfinder, Patrol and the ubiquitous cross over Qashqai+2, does anyone out there have any opinions on any of these options? I’ve heard both good and bad things about Nissan so am curious as to others experiences.

I’ve never liked the Mitsubishi Pajero or it’s derivatives for no particular rational reason other than that I think they are dull and ugly but still I am not going to look there, the Honda FRV is also dull and butt ugly so is out. Budgetary constraints also rule out any of the big three german offerings even though an older M-Class might work the thought of trying to run the thing and big repair bills should anything go wrong pretty much rule them out of the running.

Ford have a couple of offerings and I must confess that I am strangely drawn to the S-Max, which is based on the Mondeo platform just bloated. I’m very keen to test drive one. The Galaxy is another option as basically an even more stretched S-Max but they are available in lower trim levels so can be found cheaper than the S-Max, they are also more commonly fitted with an auto gearbox which appeals to me as mentioned before I spend 99% of my time on the road either in traffic or on the motorway. Yes a manual is more fun but only for those rare occasions that you can give it the beans and anyway if I’m going to emasculate myself I may as well do it properly.

I’m sure there are other options out there that I’ve not thought of, does anyone have any ideas for alternatives to look at or experience of any of the above mentioned cars?

I look forward to your mocking and jeering as well as any practical advice short of a vasectomy that you can give me.


Mr Bunny Chow

  1. Mark says:

    Have to say we have been happy with the Honda mdx… The Honda what I hear you say? Admittedly, parts are a little difficult to source, great drive and BIG however.

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  3. […] some of my longer term readers may recall I posted back in November last year about our search for more family friendly transport and how it was time to grow up and move away from our very comfortable and seemingly practical but […]

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